Radioactive Dating

Radioactive Dating - Radioactive Dating There are several...

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Radioactive Dating There are several ways to figure out relative ages, that is, if one thing is older than another. For example, looking at a series of layers in the side of a cliff, the younger layers will be on top of the older layers. Or you can tell that certain parts of the Moon's surface are older than other parts by counting the number of craters per unit area. The old surface will have many craters per area because it has been exposed to space for a long time. But how old is ``old''? If you assume that the impact rate has been constant for the past several billion years, then the number of craters will be proportional to how long the surface is exposed. However, the crater number relation must be calibrated against something with a known age. To measure the passage of long periods of time, scientists take advantage of a regularity in certain unstable atoms. In radioactive atoms the nucleus will spontaneously change into another type of nucleus. When looking at a large number of atoms, you see that a certain fraction of them
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Radioactive Dating - Radioactive Dating There are several...

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