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Finding the age of an object using radiometric dating is a four step process.
As long as you follow these four steps you will always be able to accurately determine the age of a rock or fossil.
The radiocarbon dating method is based on the fact that radiocarbon is constantly being created in the atmosphere by the interaction of cosmic rays with atmospheric nitrogen.
The resulting radiocarbon combines with atmospheric oxygen to form radioactive carbon dioxide, which is incorporated into plants by photosynthesis; animals then acquire in a sample from a dead plant or animal such as a piece of wood or a fragment of bone provides information that can be used to calculate when the animal or plant died.
The first thing we want to know to find the age of an object is to figure out how many half-lives have passed.
To do this we need to know the amount of radioactive material remaining in the object.
Libby received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in 1960.
Because the time it takes to convert biological materials to fossil fuels is substantially longer than the time it takes for its in the atmosphere, which attained a maximum in 1963 of almost twice what it had been before the testing began.
Measurement of radiocarbon was originally done by beta-counting devices, which counted the amount of beta radiation emitted by decaying atoms in the sample and not just the few that happen to decay during the measurements; it can therefore be used with much smaller samples (as small as individual plant seeds), and gives results much more quickly.
Because its half-life is so long it is useful for dating the oldest rocks on Earth, but not very reliable for rocks under 10 million years old. This is ten times the age of the Earth, so very little Rubidium has decayed at all.
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