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When ‘parent’ uranium-238 decays, for example, it produces subatomic particles, energy and ‘daughter’ lead-206.
Isotopes are important to geologists because each radioactive element decays at a constant rate, which is unique to that element.
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The human journey began with the Ardipithecine and Australopithecine hominids 7 million years ago.
They use absolute dating methods, sometimes called numerical dating, to give rocks an actual date, or date range, in number of years.
a technique for determining the age of minerals based on the occurrence in natural potassium of a small fixed amount of radioisotope 40K that decays to the stable argon isotope 40Ar with a half-life of 1.28x109 years.
Measurement of the ratio of these isotopes thus gives the age of the minerala technique for determining the age of organic materials, such as wood, based on their content of the radioisotope 14C acquired from the atmosphere when they formed part of a living plant.
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