Radioactive dating organic materials

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Radioactive dating is a method of dating rocks and minerals using radioactive isotopes.

This method is useful for igneous and metamorphic rocks, which cannot be dated by the stratigraphic correlation method used for sedimentary rocks. Some do not change with time and form stable isotopes (i.e.

The rate of decay (given the symbol λ) is the fraction of the 'parent' atoms that decay in unit time.

For geological purposes, this is taken as one year.

Uranium/uranium, uranium/thorium, and potassium/argon are three sets of long lived isotopes that are often found together, and work quite well for dating ash and rock of volcanic origin.

Refer to the links for a page describing the process.

Among the best-known techniques are radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating and uranium-lead dating.

By allowing the establishment of geological timescales, it provides a significant source of information about the ages of fossils and the deduced rates of evolutionary change.

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