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Radioisotopic dating method currently used

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those that form during chemical reactions without breaking down).The unstable or more commonly known radioactive isotopes break down by radioactive decay into other isotopes.Carbon-14 is a method used for young (less than 50,000 year old) sedimentary rocks.This method relies on the uptake of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope of carbon, carbon-14 by all living things.Since the 1950s, geologists have used radioactive elements as natural "clocks" for determining numerical ages of certain types of rocks. "Forms" means the moment an igneous rock solidifies from magma, a sedimentary rock layer is deposited, or a rock heated by metamorphism cools off.It's this resetting process that gives us the ability to date rocks that formed at different times in earth history.

Radioactive decay occurs at a constant rate, specific to each radioactive isotope. Wiens has a Ph D in Physics, with a minor in Geology.His Ph D thesis was on isotope ratios in meteorites, including surface exposure dating.A commonly used radiometric dating technique relies on the breakdown of potassium (Ar in an igneous rock can tell us the amount of time that has passed since the rock crystallized.If an igneous or other rock is metamorphosed, its radiometric clock is reset, and potassium-argon measurements can be used to tell the number of years that has passed since metamorphism.The man's body was recovered and pieces of tissue were studied for their C content by accelerator mass spectroscopy.