Relate radioactive dating techniques to isotopes datingsuggestion com
Geologists often need to know the age of material that they find.
A radioactive isotope, also known as a radioisotope, radionuclide, or radioactive nuclide, is any of several species of the same chemical element with different masses whose nuclei are unstable and dissipate excess energy by spontaneously emitting radiation in the form of alpha, beta, and gamma rays.
All radiometric dating methods measure isotopes in some way.
Most directly measure the amount of isotopes in rocks, using a mass spectrometer.
Some of these are found in nature; the rest are produced artificially as the direct products of nuclear reactions or indirectly as the radioactive descendants of these products.
Each “parent” radioactive isotope eventually decays into one or at most a few stable isotope “daughters” specific to that parent. Some radioactive isotopes are present as terrestrial radiation.
The table below shows characteristics of some common radiometric dating methods.