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Unformatted text preview: lived radioactive isotope pairs have half-lives in millions or billions of years. The U-Pb series isotopes are used to date ancient igneous intrusive rocks such as granite. Likewise, Rb-Sr isotope ratios can be applied to ancient rocks and meteorites. Fine-grained volcanic rocks, such as bentonite and basalt, are dated by the ratios of K-Ar. There are several types of radioactive decay that are used in geology. Alpha radiation (sometimes known as an alpha particle) releases two protons and two neutrons (the alpha particle). This large, slow-moving particle is similar to the nucleus of a helium atom. Beta decay releases a fast-moving electron from a neutron in the nucleus. Electron capture occurs when a proton has captured an electron and becomes a neutron....
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- Fall '10