Dating rocks with uranium 238

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Relative dating is used to determine the relative ages of geologic strata, artifacts, historical events, etc. Both U-238, and C-14 (radiocarbon, for carbon dating) are used to estimate the age of certain types of matter.These atoms decay, and from the amount of atoms remaining, an estimate of the age can be made.In addition, the parent and daughter isotopes must remain together in a rock to use them to determine the rock's age.Because sedimentary rocks contain fragments of many rocks that could be different ages, radiometric dating is less useful for dating sedimentary rock.Radiometric dating uses the half-life of naturally occurring radioactive isotopes and their products to date rocks.For example the half-life of uranium is 4.5 billion years.

The half-lives of the cascade from uranium-235 to lead-207 has been been extrapolated to about 704 million years and the cascade form uranium-238 to lead-206 has been calculated to about 4.47 billion years.Uranium-Lead dating is a radiometric dating method that uses the decay chain of uranium and lead to find the age of a rock.As uranium decays radioactively, it becomes different chemical elements until it stops at lead.Carbon dating is used to determine the age of various artefacts of a biological origin up to about 50,000 years.More ancient rocks can be dated by measuring the amount of decay of radioactive elements which may be present and is generically known as radiometric dating.

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