Uses of radioactive dating

This radioactivity can be used for dating, since a radioactive 'parent' element decays into a stable 'daughter' element at a constant rate.

If you would like to set up information regarding a project in which radiocarbon dating illuminated or solved a problem or in which C14 played a central role, please contact [email protected] The Origins of Angkor Archaeological Project From the University of Otago (New Zealand) and the Fine Arts Department of Thailand, the project is concerned with investigating archaeology of pre-formative Angkorean society of South East Asia.Radiocarbon dating underpins the chronological aspects of the investigation.Ocean sediment C-14 data The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University has compiled 974 C-14 dates from 309 ocean sediments cores, covering the period from 40,000 years BP to the present worldwide. The USGS Bear Lake Project aims to create records of past climate change for the Bear Lake region,including changes in precipitation patterns during the last 10,000 years and how the size of Bear Lake has varied in the past, to assess the possibility of future flooding and drought.Radioactive dating is a method of dating rocks and minerals using radioactive isotopes.Others place mineral grains under a special microscope, firing a laser beam at the grains which ionises the mineral and releases the isotopes.

The isotopes are then measured within the same machine by an attached mass spectrometer (an example of this is SIMS analysis).Its great advantage is that most rocks contain potassium, usually locked up in feldspars, clays and amphiboles.However, potassium is very mobile during metamorphism and alteration, and so this technique is not used much for old rocks, but is useful for rocks of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Eras, particularly unaltered igneous rocks.The half-life is the time it takes for half of the parent atoms to decay.The relationship between the two is: T = 0.693 / λ Many different radioactive isotopes and techniques are used for dating.Argon-Argon dating (39Ar-40Ar) This technique developed in the late 1960s but came into vogue in the early 1980s, through step-wise release of the isotopes.