Radiometric dating of rocks

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Radiometric dating of rocks

Post by Twila » Thu May 28, 2009 3:22 pm

please enlighten me. Im having so much trouble this is what I think I get so far,
its more accurate than relative dating.
its used over relative dating more often than not.
you use "parent isotopes" like uranium?

ok, but what if the uranium somehow gets messed up? how will we know? how can we really know if its accurate at all? its not like we have a time machine(and I hope we never do, I think humans would go extinct at a faster rate...) to know it never diffused or whatever. I dont know, I always think way to hard and ask too many questions and it messes me up everytime. or so my teacher says.....

on a side note, me and my teacher got into it.. it was funny. I asked him what if the magnetic poles switched(I used some term from the book), would the USA's climate change? would the animals be able to adapt, the plants? would there be a mass extinction? and if so, how would we survive?

he told me to take what scientist say and leave it to them to ask questions and make ideas like that. lmao. he said it was impossible that would happen. but I pointed out that its already happened 2 or 3 times in earths history according to the book. so whos to say it wont?
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Post by mcar » Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:48 am

Unless we really have an earth-like control in our lab, perhaps we could really find the exact answers we've been looking for. As what other says, we're just looking into a very small piece of evidence even if we already think that it could be the biggest discovery in the century.
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Re: Radiometric dating of rocks

Post by MichaelXY » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:15 am

ok, but what if the uranium somehow gets messed up?

Well, how could this occur? It would take extreme pressures and high temps for this to happen, in which case your sample such as an arrow head would not be an arrow head any longer as it would have been metamorphasized itself.

It is assumed that if the sample is in tact, then the minerals are also intact and unchanged.

When a radioactive dated sample is taken, there are a few things to consider, if it is a clay pot, it has not been changed. With certain elements in the clay pot, they leave a time marker, as in zircon or other minerals. As time passes these minerals decay and leave different elements behind. This decay has been formulated with math. Half lives of an element and such.

So say we find a cave drawing. We can assume that since it is intact that the material the made the painting and which it was painted upon are unchanged. Thus we can say the time of the painting is an accurate time marker. By dating the minerals of the paint, the date of the painting can be determined.

As far as the magnetic field change. Your correct, the earth magnetic pole has changed severeal times, and if it does again soon, I see no danger to earth other than we will need to buy a new compass. The only danger I could foresee is if during the field change our planet was bombarded by celestial emissions. But I am not a sci fi writer.

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