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Posted by / 08-Sep-2017 03:34

Radiogenic isotope dating

Lava (properly called magma before it erupts) fills large underground chambers called magma chambers.Most people are not aware of the many processes that take place in lava before it erupts and as it solidifies, processes that can have a tremendous influence on daughter to parent ratios.A form of radiometric dating used to determine the age of organic remains in ancient objects, such as archaeological specimens, on the basis of the half-life of carbon-14 and a comparison between the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 in a sample of the remains to the known ratio in living organisms. A technique for measuring the age of organic remains based on the rate of decay of carbon 14.The carbon 14 present in an organism at the time of its death decays at a steady rate, and so the age of the remains can be calculated from the amount of carbon 14 that is left. The cells of all living things contain carbon atoms that they take in from their environment.To me it has been a real eye opener to see all the processes that are taking place and their potential influence on radiometric dating.Radiometric dating is largely done on rock that has formed from solidified lava.This is not to say that new approaches have not been developed in recent years, or that new approaches and/or insights cannot be developed in the future.

By this we understand that many of the approaches used to date rocks and constrain the evolution of the continents are well established, even routine, and that the scope of data available on age and evolution of continents is very large.Because design and building of instruments like radiation detectors or mass spectrometers requires a knowledge of physics, many of the early practitioners of rock dating were physicists, like Alfred Nier (cited above).Since the 1970s, essentially all mass spectrometers have been constructed by specialized commercial firms, and the level of physics expertise among isotope geologists has been lower.There is no going back – the process is irreversible. When we pour our popcorn kernels into a popcorn popper, the is no way to know which will pop first.And once that first kernel pops, it will never be a kernel forever changed! ) Teaching example using popcorn to teach radioactive decay "A variety of a chemical element (strictly, of one particular element) which is distinguished from the other varieties of the element by a different mass number but shares the same atomic number and chemical properties (and so occupies the same position in the periodic table)." That definition may not mean anything to them.

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From the very early days of crustal evolution studies, it was innovations and improvements in laboratory techniques that drove the pace of discovery (e.g., Holmes, 1911; Nier, 1939).