Dating in paleontology

continue to make remarkable discoveries, such as that a huge meteorite that fell in the Gulf of Mexico wiped out the dinosaurs—all except the birds, the only surviving dinosaurs."Radiometric dating" can reveal the age (often tens of millions of years) of a rock or fossil or a tiny grain of pollen by measuring how much its radioactive elements have disintegrated.This predictability allows the relative abundances of related nuclides to be used as a clock that measures the time from the incorporation of the original nuclide(s) into a material to the present.

The temperature at which this happens is known as the "blocking temperature" and is specific to a particular material.Additionally, measurement in a mass spectrometer is subject to isotopic interference of other nuclides with the same mass number.Corrections may have to be performed by measuring isotopic ratios of elements which interfere with the target isotope.In the ideal case, the material will incorporate a parent nuclide and reject the daughter nuclide.In this case, the only daughter nuclides to be found through examination of a sample must have been created since the sample was formed.In this case, usually the half-life reported is the dominant (longest) for the entire chain, rather than just one step in the chain.Nuclides useful for radiometric dating have half-lives ranging from a few thousand to a few billion years.After one half-life has elapsed, one half of the atoms of the substance in question will have decayed.Many radioactive substances decay from one nuclide into a final, stable decay product (or "daughter") through a series of steps known as a decay chain.In most cases, the half-life of a nuclide depends solely on its nuclear properties; it is not affected by temperature, chemical environment, magnetic and electric fields, or any other external factors.The half-life of any nuclide is also believed to be constant through time.

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  1. Research has also suggested that, in the context of Western Europe as a whole, single people in the UK and Ireland remain especially attached to the idea of marriage ...