Radioactive dating is a method of determining the approximate age of an old object by measuring the amount of a known radioactive element it contains. His prediction was correct. A method for determining the age of an object based on the concentration of a particular radioactive isotope contained within it. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Carbon has three naturally occurring isotopeswith atoms of the same atomic number but different atomic weights. Isotopic systems that have been exploited for radiometric dating have half-lives ranging from only about 10 years e.
Boltwood explained that by studying a rock containing uranium, its age could be determined by measuring its amounts of uranium and lead.
What is Radioactive Dating? - Definition & Facts
On impact in the cups, the ions set up a very weak current that can be measured to determine the rate of impacts and the relative concentrations of different atoms in the beams. Thank You for Your Contribution! A geologist can pick up a rock from a mountainside somewhere, and bring it back to the lab, and separate out the individual minerals that compose the rock. If the mineral formed at depth or was deeply buried after formation, the fission-track age will reflect this later heating and cooling. For instance, carbon has a half-life of 5, years.