Concept radiometric dating

All rocks and minerals contain long-lived radioactive elements that were incorporated into Earth when the Solar System formed.These radioactive elements constitute independent clocks that allow geologists to determine the age of the rocks in which they occur.

The primary carbon-containing compound in the atmosphere is carbon dioxide, and a very small amount of carbon dioxide contains C-14.Plants absorb C-14 during photosynthesis, so C-14 is incorporated into the cellular structure of plants. Its crust is continually being created, modified, and destroyed.As a result, rocks that record its earliest history have not been found and probably no longer exist.Carbon-14 dating can only be used to determine the age of something that was once alive.

It can’t be used to determine the age of a moon rock or a meteorite.Nevertheless, there is substantial evidence that the Earth and the other bodies of the Solar System are 4.5-4.6 billion years old, and that the Milky Way Galaxy and the Universe are older still.The principal evidence for the antiquity of Earth and its cosmic surroundings is: Spontaneous breakdown or decay of atomic nuclei, termed radioactive decay, is the basis for all radiometric dating methods.A useful application of half-lives is radioactive dating.This has to do with figuring out the age of ancient things.For nonliving substances, scientists use other isotopes, such as potassium-40.