Radioactive decay dating method
Radiometric dating is a means of determining the "age" of a mineral specimen by determining the relative amounts present of certain radioactive elements.By "age" we mean the elapsed time from when the mineral specimen was formed.
"It's a pain in the neck, but it will make our estimates significantly more accurate," Hayes says."The rate of diffusion will vary, based on the sample -- what type of rock it is, the number of cracks and amount of surface area, and so on," Hayes says."So, there's not a simple equation that can be applied to every circumstance.And atoms of strontium-86 can diffuse more readily than atoms of strontium-87 or rubidium, simply because atoms of strontium-86 are smaller."It's a slow process, but not necessarily a negligible one when you're talking about geological time scales," says Robert Hayes, an associate professor of nuclear engineering at NC State and author of a paper describing the work.