Relative and radiometric dating

Radiometric dating--the process of determining the age of rocks from the decay of their radioactive elements--has been in widespread use for over half a century.Relative dating is used to determine the relative ages of geologic strata, artifacts, historical events…Contamination from outside, or the loss of isotopes at any time from the rock's original formation, would change the result.It is therefore essential to have as much information as possible about the material being dated and to check for possible signs of alteration.Another example of radiometric dating is the dating of the age of geological formations on earth. Short Answer: Radiometric dating is one type of absolute dating.The term relative dating is distinguished from absolute dating to make it clear that one does not get a specific estimate of the age of an object from relative dating…The method works best if neither the parent nuclide nor the daughter product enters or leaves the material after its formation.

Elements exist in different isotopes, with each isotope of an element differing in the number of neutrons in the nucleus.

The slope of the line determines the date, and the closeness of fit is a measure of the statistical reliability of the resulting date.

Technical details on how these dates are calculated are given in Radiometric dating. As with any experimental procedure in any field of science, these measurements are subject to certain "glitches" and "anomalies," as noted in the literature.

A particular isotope of a particular element is called a nuclide. That is, at some point in time, an atom of such a nuclide will spontaneously change into a different nuclide by radioactive decay.

The decay may happen by emission of particles (usually electrons (beta decay), positrons or alpha particles) or by spontaneous nuclear fission, and electron capture.

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