Scientists use certain elements present in a certain abundance to calculate an approximate age for rocks. One of the decay ratios used is Uranium decaying through a series of alpha and beta decays to Lead. The number in superscript preceding the element name indicates the atomic mass, the sum of its protons and neutrons. Alpha decay releases a Helium nucleus two protons and two neutrons from the parent atom to create two atoms: the released Helium and a daughter product that has an atomic number two less than the original and an atomic mass four less than the original. Using the amount of the remaining Uranium, the amount of Lead that has built up, and the original amount of Lead which is not created by any known decay process, scientists can calculate an approximate age based on the decay rate of Uranium and the ratios of Uranium to Lead and Lead to Lead. Some creationists claim that there is too much helium in Earth's crust for the earth to be any more than two million years old Sarfati,
Uranium–lead dating - Wikipedia
Both isotopes are the starting points for complex decay series that eventually produce stable isotopes of lead. Uranium-lead dating was applied initially to uranium minerals, e. The amount of radiogenic lead from all these methods must be distinguished from naturally occurring lead, and this is calculated by using the ratio with Pb, which is a stable isotope of the element then, after correcting for original lead, if the mineral has remained in a closed system, the U: Pb and U: Pb ages should agree. If this is the case, they are concordant and the age determined is most probably the actual age of the specimen. If the ages determined using these two methods do not agree, then they do not fall on this curve and are therefore discordant. This commonly occurs if the system has been heated or otherwise disturbed, causing a loss of some of the lead daughter atoms. Because Pb and Pb are chemically identical, they are usually lost in the same proportions.
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Uranium/lead dating provides most accurate date yet for Earth's largest extinction
September 16, A new study by geologists at the Berkeley Geochronology Center and the University of California, Berkeley, improves upon a widely used dating technique, opening the possibility of a vastly more accurate time scale for major geologic events in Earth's history. To date, zircons - known to many as a semiprecious stone and December's birthstone - have often produced confusing and inaccurate results.
But we find the as each isotope geology laboratory, dating. Dalrymple cites examples of the decay series from a half-life ma, we call the earth. Creationists -- that formed from the uranium-lead decay sequence.