Isotopes elements used radioactive dating getting it online sociological perspectives on e dating

Recently, rocks over 3.96 billion years old have been dated from northern Canada, Wyoming, and China.The ages of these oldest rocks still don't tell us how old the Earth is, but they do establish a minimum age.Therefore, their ages indicate when they were formed.Because all parts of the solar system are thought to have formed at the same time (based on the solar nebula theory), the Earth must be the same age as the moon and meteorites--that is, about 4.6 billion years old.The oldest rocks and soils from the moon are about the same age--4.6 billion years old.

Some isotopes are stable, but some are unstable or radioactive.

Ideally, the mineral crystals in igneous rocks form a closed system--nothing leaves or enters the crystal once it is formed.

This means that as radioactive parent elements decay, they and their daughters are trapped together inside the crystal.

At any moment, the ratio between them is a measure of the time elapsed, as long as the system remains closed.

But if the hourglass were to break (become an open system), sand leaks out and the hourglass is no longer a reliable tool for telling time.

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The rates of decay of various radioactive isotopes have been accurately measured in the laboratory and have been shown to be constant, even in extreme temperatures and pressures.

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