Carbon dating quotes

Since Cambrian and later rocks are largely sedimentary and igneous (volcanic) rocks are found in Cambrian and later strata, if these rocks are really 550 million years old, then life must also be at least 550 million years old.

carbon dating quotes-40

When it is stated that these methods are accurate to one or two percent, it does not mean that the computed age is within one or two percent of the correct age.

It just means that there is enough accuracy in the measurements to compute t to one or two percentage points of accuracy, where t is the time required to obtain the observed ratio of daughter to parent, assuming no initial daughter product was present at the beginning, and no daughter or parent entered or left the system.

Assuming we start out with pure parent, as time passes, more and more daughter will be produced. A ratio of infinity (that is, all daughter and no parent) means an age of essentially infinity.

By measuring the ratio of daughter to parent, we can measure how old the sample is. Each radioactive element has a half-life, which tells how long it takes for half of the element to decay.

For potassium 40, the half-life is about 1.3 billion years.

In general, in one half-life, half of the parent will have decayed.Back to top Radioactive elements decay gradually into other elements.The original element is called the parent, and the result of the decay process is called the daughter element.Potassium is about 1/40 of the earth's crust, and about 1/10,000 of the potassium is potassium 40.Uranium decays to lead by a complex series of steps. Thus we obtain K-Ar dating, U-Pb dating, and Rb-Sr dating, three of the most common methods.How radiometric dating works in general Why methods in general are inaccurate Why K-Ar dating is inaccurate The branching ratio problem How Errors Can Account for the Observed Dates Why older dates would be found lower in the geologic column especially for K-Ar dating Do different methods agree with each other on the geologic column?

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