Radiometric dating def

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When I have asked an audience this question they have looked at me incredulously and said, “Starting time?

” They realize that you cannot know how long the swimmer took unless you knew the time on the wristwatch when the race started.

distance = rate x time With radiometric dating we're instead looking to find the time (or age.) The formula would look like this: time = distance / rate So far they've been able to prove that the rate of decay is a constant so we've got one variable.

Next they're able to observe how decayed it is so they know the "distance" and have the final variable. And sure people will shout about the inaccuracies of radiometric dating but in every case I've found it's been the fault of the geologist/scientist/whoever and not with the process Hi Mason, Sure, if you knew all that information about your rock sample you could calculate the time.

Next time you see dates quoted of millions of years remember that the numbers are not scientific measurements of time elapsed.

They are the result of big philosophical assumptions.

but don’t even mention the fact that we can’t measure the concentrations of isotopes in the past.

The fact is that you can only establish the time for the race if it was timed by two or more reliable eyewitnesses who observed the you cannot measure the age of a rock using radioactive dating because no-one was present to measure the radioactive elements when the rock formed and no-one monitored the way those elements changed over its entire geological history This illustrates the problem with the radioactive dating of geological events.Keep that in mind when you think about working out the age of something. Actually, knowing the starting time is still not enough.During the race you have to watch the swimmer and count how many laps he has swum so you know that he has done 1,500 metres.That is why you need three timekeepers to independently record the times during the race to meet the standard needed to enter the record books.Would it make any difference if the watch we were using was more accurate? You could talk about the tiny quartz crystal and the piezoelectric effect used to provide a stable time base for the electronic movement.

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