Radioactive dating of rock samples is a method of

Posted by / 03-Feb-2020 16:12

The two cascades are different—235U becomes 207Pb and 238U becomes 206Pb.

What makes this fact useful is that they occur at different rates, as expressed in their half-lives (the time it takes for half the atoms to decay).

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With 238U the Pb/U ratio grows much more slowly with age, but the idea is the same.

If you took rocks of all ages and plotted their two Pb/U ratios from their two isotope pairs against each other on a graph, the points would form a beautiful line called a concordia (see the example in the right column).

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