Before we delve into radioactive decay and its use in dating rocks, let’s review some essential nuclear physics concepts.
SAL: In the last video we saw all sorts of different types of isotopes of atoms experiencing radioactive decay and turning into other atoms or releasing different types of particles.
So with that said, let's go back to the question of how do we know if one of these guys are going to decay in some way. That, you know, maybe this guy will decay this second. Remember, isotopes, if there's carbon, can come in 12, with an atomic mass number of 12, or with 14, or I mean, there's different isotopes of different elements. So the carbon-14 version, or this isotope of carbon, let's say we start with 10 grams. Well we said that during a half-life, 5,740 years in the case of carbon-14-- all different elements have a different half-life, if they're radioactive-- over 5,740 years there's a 50%-- and if I just look at any one atom-- there's a 50% chance it'll decay. Now after another half-life-- you can ignore all my little, actually let me erase some of this up here. So we'll have even more conversion into nitrogen-14. So now we're only left with 2.5 grams of c-14. Well we have another two and a half went to nitrogen. So after one half-life, if you're just looking at one atom after 5,740 years, you don't know whether this turned into a nitrogen or not.
measurement, measuring, mensuration, measure - the act or process of assigning numbers to phenomena according to a rule; "the measurements were carefully done"; "his mental measurings proved remarkably accurate" techniques to precisely measure the age of the eruptions of the Kalkarindji volcanic province where lavas covered an area of more than 2 million square kilometers in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
A decade later, American chemist Bertram Boltwood suggested that lead was a disintegration product of uranium and could be used as an internal clock for dating rocks.
By the mid-1940s, Willard Libby realized that the decay of C research—his life’s work—Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960, and the age of radioactive dating was born.
The best-known radiometric dating techniques include radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating, and uranium-lead dating.
Many secular scientists use it to dismantle the faith of Christians and cause them to accept uniformitarian assumptions that, in addition to being scientifically erroneous, demand a figurative and distorted interpretation of Genesis.
Being knowledgeable about such a widespread dating method is essential for Christians to address opposing arguments and critics. Natural radioactivity was discovered in 1896 by the French physicist Henri Becquerel.
Atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons are called isotopes. Most carbon on Earth exists as the very stable isotope carbon-12, with a very small amount as carbon-13.
Here’s an example using the simplest atom, hydrogen. Carbon-14 is an unstable isotope of carbon that will eventually decay at a known rate to become carbon-12.