Isotopes used in radiocarbon dating
This process of changing one element (designated as the parent isotope) into another element (referred to as the daughter isotope) is called radioactive decay.
The parent isotopes that decay are called radioisotopes.
These parent radioisotopes change into daughter lead-206, lead-207, argon-40, strontium-87, and neodymium-143 isotopes, respectively.
Thus geologists refer to uranium-lead (two versions), potassium-argon, rubidium-strontium, or samarium-neodymium dates for rocks.
Actually, it isn’t really a decay process in the normal sense of the word, like the decay of fruit.
The daughter atoms are not lesser in quality than the parent atoms from which they were produced.
Yet few people know how radiometric dating works or bother to ask what assumptions drive the conclusions.Note that the carbon-14 (or radiocarbon) method is not used to date rocks because most rocks do not contain carbon. They must find rocks that have the isotopes listed above, even if these isotopes are present only in minute amounts.
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