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These long time periods are computed by measuring the ratio of daughter to parent substance in a rock and inferring an age based on this ratio.This age is computed under the assumption that the parent substance (say, uranium) gradually decays to the daughter substance (say, lead), so the higher the ratio of lead to uranium, the older the rock must be.Roll the Dice & Use Radiometric Dating to Find Out.In that particular Project Idea, radioactive decay of isotopes is modeled by rolling dice.*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment.You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title.those that form during chemical reactions without breaking down).The unstable or more commonly known radioactive isotopes break down by radioactive decay into other isotopes.

The thing that makes this decay process so valuable for determining the age of an object is that each radioactive isotope decays at its own fixed rate, which is expressed in terms of its half-life.Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 ± 40 years— during the succeeding 5,730 years.Because carbon-14 decays at this constant rate, an estimate of the date at which an organism died can be made by measuring the amount of its residual radiocarbon.Radioactive decay is a natural process and comes from the atomic nucleus becoming unstable and releasing bits and pieces.These are released as radioactive particles (there are many types).

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