Various methods of radiometric dating
In this case, U238 is the “parent” and Pb206 is the “daughter.” Scientists begin by measuring how long it takes for a parent isotope to decay into a daughter isotope.
In this particular case, it takes 4,460,000,000 years for half of a sample of U238 to decay into Pb206.
magazine has been continuously published since 1978, we are publishing some of the articles from the archives for historical interest, such as this.
The decay process for the zircons involves alpha particle emission from uranium and/or thorium inside the zircon.An alpha particle is simply a helium nucleus, which will quickly gather up 2 electrons and become a helium atom.(Electrons are quickly accumulated when you rub a balloon on some material - perhaps your hair - and then place the balloon on a wall or ceiling.The use of radiometric dating was first published in 1907 by Bertram Boltwood and is now the principal source of information about the absolute age of rocks and other geological features, including the age of fossilized life forms or the age of the Earth itself, and can also be used to date a wide range of natural and man-made materials.Among the best-known techniques are radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating and uranium-lead dating.