Wiki radiometric dating

Unraveling such complications (which, depending on their maximum lead-retention temperature, can also exist within other minerals) generally requires in situ micro-beam analysis via, say, ion microprobe (SIMS) or laser ICP-MS.Radiometric dating or radioactive dating is a technique used to date materials such as rocks or carbon, in which trace radioactive impurities were selectively incorporated when they were formed.This effect is referred to as discordance and is demonstrated in Figure 1.If a series of zircon samples has lost different amounts of lead, the samples generate a discordant line.The amount of the isotope in the object is compared to the amount of the isotope's decay products.The object's approximate age can then be figured out using the known rate of decay of the isotope.

Zircon crystals with prolonged and complex histories can thus contain zones of dramatically different ages (usually, with the oldest and youngest zones forming the core and rim, respectively, of the crystal), and thus are said to demonstrate inherited characteristics.During the alpha decay steps, the zircon crystal experiences radiation damage, associated with each alpha decay.This damage is most concentrated around the parent isotope (U and Th), expelling the daughter isotope (Pb) from its original position in the zircon lattice.By allowing the establishment of geological timescales, it provides a significant source of information about the ages of fossils and the deduced rates of evolutionary change.Radiometric dating is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts.

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