Dating of rock layers

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Additionally, elements may exist in different isotopes, with each isotope of an element differing in the number of neutrons in the nucleus.

A particular isotope of a particular element is called a nuclide. That is, at some point in time, an atom of such a nuclide will undergo radioactive decay and spontaneously transform into a different nuclide.

Radiometric dating or radioactive dating is a technique used to date materials such as rocks or carbon, in which trace radioactive impurities were selectively incorporated when they were formed.It is therefore essential to have as much information as possible about the material being dated and to check for possible signs of alteration.Precision is enhanced if measurements are taken on multiple samples from different locations of the rock body.It is not affected by external factors such as temperature, pressure, chemical environment, or presence of a magnetic or electric field.The only exceptions are nuclides that decay by the process of electron capture, such as beryllium-7, strontium-85, and zirconium-89, whose decay rate may be affected by local electron density.After an organism has been dead for 60,000 years, so little carbon-14 is left that accurate dating can not be established.

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