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Radioactive dating

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**III. Radioactive Dating**

A. Used to find ABSOLUTE age in years. B. Radioactive ISOTOPES in rocks DECAY away at a predictable rate.

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**III. Radioactive Dating**

1. Carbon-14 – Used to date RECENT, ONCE LIVING things. Decays into Nitrogen-14

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**III. Radioactive Dating**

2. Uranium-238 – Used to date very old rocks. Decays into Lead-206.

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Half Life C. The amount of time it takes for HALF of the radioactive isotope to DECAY is called its HALF LIFE. 1. Half life DOES NOT CHANGE. (That’s why it’s on the ESRT!)

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**Radioactive isotopes decay from the “Parent” material **

into the “Daughter Product”. Daughter Product Original “Parent” Material

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**Each half-life, the amount of atoms gets cut in half.**

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One half-life.

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Two half-lives.

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Three half-lives.

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Four half-lives.

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**Don’t worry about the last atom**

Don’t worry about the last atom. You start with so many trillions that you never really get there. (It will just decay and then they’re all gone.)

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Since you don’t know how many atoms you started with, a ratio between parent to daughter will tell you how many half-lives have gone by. 100% parent 0% daughter 0 half lives

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One half-life. 50% parent 50% daughter 1 half-life

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Two half-lives. 25% parent 75% daughter 2 half-lives

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Three half-lives. 12.5% parent 87.5% daughter 3 half-lives

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Four half-lives. 6.25% parent 93.75% daughter 4 half-lives

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