Methods of radiometric dating of rock dating vacation com
By measuring how long it takes for an unstable element to decay into a stable element and by measuring how much daughter element has been produced by the parent element within a specimen of rock, scientists believe they are able to determine the age of the rock.This belief is based upon three significant assumptions.The New Zealand physicist Ernest Rutherford, suggested in 1905 that the exact age of a rock could be measured by means of radioactivity.For the first time he was able to exactly measure the age of a uranium mineral.Dr Carl Wieland summarizes the recent findings: "When uranium decays to lead, a by-product of this process is the formation of helium, a very light, inert gas which readily escapes from rock.Certain crystals called zircons, obtained from drilling into very deep granites, contain uranium which has partly decayed into lead.By measuring the amount of uranium and 'radiogenic lead' in these crystals, one can calculate that, if the decay rate has been constant, about 1.5 billion years must have passed.(This is consistent with the geologic 'age' assigned to the granites in which these zircons are found.) There is a significant amount of helium from that '1.5 billion years of decay' still inside the zircons.
For example: after the it forms a component of all organic compounds and is therefore fundamental to life. Libby of the University of Chicago predicted the existence of carbon-14 before it was actually detected and formulated a hypothesis that radiocarbon might exist in living matter.
If this were the case, the first assumption would be deemed unreasonable.
This would completely upset our current standardized view of earth's history.
In other words, in only a few thousand years, 1.5 billion years' worth (at today's rates) of radioactive decay has taken place.
Interestingly, the data has since been refined and updated to give a date of 5680 ( /- 2000) years." Learn more now!
When Rutherford announced his findings it soon became clear that Earth is millions of years old.