Explain the process of radiometric dating
Through analysis, a bone fragment is determined to contain 13% of its original carbon-14.The half-life of carbon-14 is approximately 5,730 years. Since the quantity represents 13% (or 13/100ths) of , it follows that Thus the bone is approximately 17,000 years old.(Our input data had two significant figures, so reporting a more accurate result would be meaningless.) A important limitation of radiometric dating often overlooked by layman (and not always made clear in scholarly works as well) is that any date is actually a range, following the A proper radiometric date should read years before present (with 1950 being present) ± range/2 at x standard deviations (Xσ)', but is often reported as a single year or a year range, like 1260–1390 CE (the date for the Shroud of Turin).This leaves out important information which would tell you how precise is the dating result.Some isotopes have half lives longer than the present age of the universe, but they are still subject to the same laws of quantum physics and will eventually decay, even if doing so at a time when all remaining atoms in the universe are separated by astronomical distances.Various elements are used for dating different time periods; ones with relatively short half-lives like carbon-14 (or C) are useful for dating once-living objects (since they include atmospheric carbon from when they were alive) from about ten to fifty thousand years old. Longer-lived isotopes provide dating information for much older times.To date older fossils, other methods are used, such as potassium-argon or argon-argon dating.Radiometric dating — through processes similar to those outlined in the example problem above — frequently reveals that rocks, fossils, etc.
The half-life , specific to each nuclide, can be accurately measured on a pure sample, and is known to be independent of the chemical composition of the sample, temperature and pressure.Note that although carbon-14 dating receives a lot of attention, since it can give information about the relatively recent past, it is rarely used in geology (and almost never used to date fossils).