Isotopes used for radiometric dating

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Radiometric dating, or radioactive dating as it is sometimes called, is a method used to date rocks and other objects based on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes.

Different methods of radiometric dating can be used to estimate the age of a variety of natural and even man-made materials.

When the isotope is halfway to that point, it has reached its half-life.

This provides a built-in cross-check to more accurately determine the age of the sample.

However, rocks and other objects in nature do not give off such obvious clues about how long they have been around.

So, we rely on radiometric dating to calculate their ages.

These two uranium isotopes decay at different rates. The half-life of the uranium-238 to lead-206 is 4.47 billion years.

The uranium-235 to lead-207 decay series is marked by a half-life of 704 million years.

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