Radioactivity and radioactive dating

It might take a millisecond, or it might take a century. But if you have a large enough sample, a pattern begins to emerge.It takes a certain amount of time for half the atoms in a sample to decay.By the mid-1940s, Willard Libby realized that the decay of C research—his life’s work—Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960, and the age of radioactive dating was born.Before we delve into radioactive decay and its use in dating rocks, let’s review some essential nuclear physics concepts.Later called Ötzi the Iceman, small samples from his body were carbon dated by scientists.The results showed that Ötzi died over 5000 years ago, sometime between 33 BC. Uranium has a very long half-life and so by measuring how much uranium is left in a rock its approximate age can be worked out.

Many secular scientists use it to dismantle the faith of Christians and cause them to accept uniformitarian assumptions that, in addition to being scientifically erroneous, demand a figurative and distorted interpretation of Genesis.This has to do with figuring out the age of ancient things.If you could watch a single atom of a radioactive isotope, U-238, for example, you wouldn’t be able to predict when that particular atom might decay.This decay is an example of an exponential decay, shown in the figure below.Knowing about half-lives is important because it enables you to determine when a sample of radioactive material is safe to handle.