Using radiometric dating how old is the earth

15-Sep-2019 08:17

For example, hydrogen-1 and hydrogen-2 are both nuclides of the element hydrogen, but hydrogen-1's nucleus contains only a proton, while hydrogen-2's nucleus contains a proton and a neutron.

Uranium-238 contains 92 protons and 146 neutrons, while uranium-235 contains 92 protons and 143 neutrons.

But it wasn't until the late 1700s -- when Scottish geologist James Hutton, who observed sediments building up on the landscape, set out to show that rocks were time clocks -- that serious scientific interest in geological age began.

Before then, the Bible had provided the only estimate for the age of the world: about 6,000 years, with Genesis as the history book.

Simply stated, radiometric dating is a way of determining the age of a sample of material using the decay rates of radio-active nuclides to provide a 'clock.' It relies on three basic rules, plus a couple of critical assumptions.

The rules are the same in all cases; the assumptions are different for each method.

Geologists have calculated the age of Earth at 4.6 billion years.

But for humans whose life span rarely reaches more than 100 years, how can we be so sure of that ancient date? Even the Greeks and Romans realized that layers of sediment in rock signified old age.

In alpha decay, the radioactive atom emits an alpha particle.When I first became interested in the creation-evolution debate, in late 1994, I looked around for sources that clearly and simply explained what radiometric dating is and why young-Earth creationists are driven to discredit it.I found several good sources, but none that seemed both complete enough to stand alone and simple enough for a What is radiometric dating?Many nuclides are stable -- they will always remain as they are unless some external force changes them.Some, however, are unstable -- given time, they will spontaneously undergo one of the several kinds of radioactive decay, changing in the process into another element.

In alpha decay, the radioactive atom emits an alpha particle.

When I first became interested in the creation-evolution debate, in late 1994, I looked around for sources that clearly and simply explained what radiometric dating is and why young-Earth creationists are driven to discredit it.

I found several good sources, but none that seemed both complete enough to stand alone and simple enough for a What is radiometric dating?

Many nuclides are stable -- they will always remain as they are unless some external force changes them.

Some, however, are unstable -- given time, they will spontaneously undergo one of the several kinds of radioactive decay, changing in the process into another element.

To explain those rules, I'll need to talk about some basic atomic physics. Hydrogen-1's nucleus consists of only a single proton.