How does potassium dating work

how does potassium dating work-81

They release radiation until they eventually become stable isotopes of lead.

These two uranium isotopes decay at different rates. The half-life of the uranium-238 to lead-206 is 4.47 billion years.

Different methods of radiometric dating can be used to estimate the age of a variety of natural and even man-made materials.

The methods work because radioactive elements are unstable, and they are always trying to move to a more stable state. This process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by releasing radiation is called radioactive decay.

For example, with potassium-argon dating, we can tell the age of materials that contain potassium because we know that potassium-40 decays into argon-40 with a half-life of 1.3 billion years.

Last modified 16-Aug-2018 03:36