List four types of radiometric 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.We can measure directly, for example by using a radiation detector, and obtain a good estimate of by analyzing the chemical composition of the sample.

This method for rock dating is based on the decay of potassium-40 into argon: until the rock solidifies, argon can escape, so it can in theory date the formation of rock.Although the time at which any individual atom will decay cannot be forecast, the time in which any given percentage of a sample will decay can be calculated to varying degrees of accuracy.The time that it takes for half of a sample to decay is known as the half life of the isotope.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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