Dating uranium 238

Posted by / 24-May-2017 10:38

Uranium comes in two common isotopes with atomic weights of 235 and 238 (we'll call them 235U and 238U).Both are unstable and radioactive, shedding nuclear particles in a cascade that doesn't stop until they become lead (Pb).

Unlike any other method, uranium-lead has a natural cross-check built into it that shows when nature has tampered with the evidence.The dating method is usually performed on the mineral zircon.The mineral incorporates uranium and thorium atoms into its crystal structure, but strongly rejects lead.Therefore, one can assume that the entire lead content of the zircon is radiogenic, is produced solely by a process of radioactive decay after the formation of the mineral.

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Fourth, zircon is physically tough and easily separated from crushed rock samples because of its high density.

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