Disadvantages of uranium lead dating

Most rocks contain uranium, allowing uranium-lead and similar methods to date them.

Other elements used for dating, such as rubidium, occur in some minerals but not others, restricting usefulness.

The time that it takes for half of a sample to decay is known as the half life of the isotope.Through analysis, a bone fragment is determined to contain 13% of its original carbon-14.The half-life of carbon-14 is approximately 5,730 years. Since the quantity represents 13% (or 13/100ths) of , it follows that This is based on the decay of rubidium isotopes to strontium isotopes, and can be used to date rocks or to relate organisms to the rocks on which they formed.Note that although carbon-14 dating receives a lot of attention, since it can give information about the relatively recent past, it is rarely used in geology (and almost never used to date fossils).Carbon-14 decays almost completely within 100,000 years of the organism dying, and many fossils and rock strata are hundreds of times older than that.

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Carbon dating works on organic matter, all of which contains carbon.

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