Radiometric dating instruments

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.

Recent puzzling observations of tiny variations in nuclear decay rates have led some to question the science behind carbon-14 dating and similar techniques.

However scientists tested the hypothesis that solar radiation might affect the rate at which radioactive elements decay and found no detectable effect.

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.

As early as 1904, Rutherford proposed the use of U decay and its ...

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.

This estimate, which assumed that the Earth’s internal temperature structure was purely the result of passive heat diffusion since the formation of the planet, was highly unpopular with the geologists of the day, who argued that the processes that they witnessed on the Earth’s surface required far more time.

In one stroke, an otherwise unknown heat source could be invoked to extend the Earth’s apparent age.

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