Carbon 14 dating equation

Radiometric dating is based on the decay of long-lived radioactive isotopes that occur naturally in rocks and minerals.

These parent isotopes decay to stable daughter isotopes at rates that can be measured experimentally and are effectively constant over time regardless of physical or chemical conditions.

Some of the isotopic parents, end-product daughters, and half-lives involved are listed in Table 1.The main point is that the ages of rock formations are rarely based on a single, isolated age measurement.On the contrary, radiometric ages are verified whenever possible and practical, and are evaluated by considering other relevant data.Sometimes these decay schemes are used individually to determine an age (e.g., Rb-Sr) and sometimes in combinations (e.g., U-Th-Pb).Each of the various decay schemes and dating methods has unique characteristics that make it applicable to particular geologic situations.

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