How are isotopes used in dating techniques?



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    Carbon 14 dating is a dating technique involving an isotope of carbon. This isotope has 6 protons and 8 neutrons thus making its atomic mass larger than Carbon 12. Carbon 14 makes up 1 part per trillion of the carbon in the atmosphere.  The Carbon 14 dating method allows scientists to date organic matter to its origin. The half life of Carbon 14 5730 years, meaning that it will decay to half its original amount in that time period. Through some moderately complicated equations, this allows researchers to date organic matter.  Radiometric dating is the term used for radio dating using isotopes. Other radiometric dating, aside from radiocarbon dating, include potassium argon dating, uranium-lead dating, and the Samarium-neodymium dating method.

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