Radioisotope dating

a radioactive form of an element, consisting of atoms with unstable nuclei, which undergo radioactive decay to stable forms, emitting characteristic alpha, beta, or gamma radiation.

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A radioisotope consists of unstable atoms that undergo radioactive decay emitting alpha, beta or gamma radiation.

Radioisotopes occur naturally, as in the cases of radium and uranium, or may be created artificially. Artificial radioisotopes are created by bombarding stable atoms of an element with subatomic particles in a nuclear reactor or in an atom smasher, or cyclotron.

any method of determining the age of earth materials or objects of organic origin based on measurement of either short-lived radioactive elements or the amount of a long-lived radioactive element plus its decay product.

A method for determining the age of an object based on the concentration of a particular radioactive isotope contained within it.

When the nucleus of a stable atom is charged by bombarding particles, the atom usually becomes unstable, or radioactive, and is said to be 'labeled' or 'tagged'.

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Radiometric dating is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts.

Radiometric dating methods are used to establish the geological time scale.

The decay of radioisotopes can be used not only to date material but also to time very slow processes, such as the evolution of the Earth's atmosphere.

Pairs of isotopes used in radiometric dating include potassium–40 which decays to argon–40 with a half-life of 1.25 × 10A technique for measuring the age of an object or sample of material by determining the ratio of the concentration of a radioisotope to that of a stable isotope in it; for example, the ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 reveals the approximate age of bones, pieces of wood, and other archeological specimens.

The method works best if neither the parent nuclide nor the daughter product enters or leaves the material after its formation.

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