# The technique called radiometric dating is based on

### The technique called radiometric dating is based on - altere frauen dating

All radioactive isotopes have a characteristic half-life (the amount of time that it takes for one half of the original number of atoms of that isotope to decay).

Radiometric dating is the use of radioactive and radiogenic (those formed from the decay of radioactive parents) isotopes (isotopes are atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons in their nuclei) to determine the age of something.Answer 2: Yes, radiometric dating is a very accurate way to date the Earth.We know it is accurate because radiometric dating is based on the radioactive decay of unstable isotopes.For example, the element Uranium exists as one of several isotopes, some of which are unstable.When an unstable Uranium (U) isotope decays, it turns into an isotope of the element Lead (Pb).We have dated meteorites using Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, Pb-Pb, Re-Os, and Lu-Hf isotope systems and have obtained very similar ages.

The fact that the age we calculate is reproducible for these different systems is significant.The process of radiogenic dating is usually done using some sort of mass spectrometer.A mass spectrometer is an instrument that separates atoms based on their mass.The reason that I trust the accuracy of the age that we have determined for the earth (~4.56 billion years) is that we have been able to obtain a very similar result using many different isotopic systems.Most estimates of the age of the earth come from dating meteorites that have fallen to Earth (because we think that they formed in our solar nebula very close to the time that the earth formed).Because geochronologists want to measure isotopes with different masses, a mass spectrometer works really well for dating things.