One radioisotope used for the dating of rocks and fossils

29-May-2017 12:21

The half-lives of several radioactive isotopes are known and are used often to figure out the age of newly found fossils.

Different isotopes have different half-lives and sometimes more than one present isotope can be used to get an even more specific age of a fossil.

This technique relies on the property of half-life.

Half-life is defined as the time it takes for one half of a radioactive element to decay into a daughter isotope.

erectus: .4 - 1.8 million years – more complex tools so meat significant part of diet and changed teeth. neanderthensis .5 million years – larger brains and bones, larger teeth and jaw, shorter limbs for the cold H. If q = frequency of t allele, q squared = .288 so q = .537 If p = frequency of T allele, p = (1 - q) = .463 The frequency of homozygous dominants (TT) and heterozygotes (Tt) can be calculated.

one radioisotope used for the dating of rocks and fossils-56

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By measuring the ratio of the amount of the original radioactive element to the daughter isotope, scientists can determine how many half-lives the element has undergone and from there can figure out the absolute age of the sample. afarensis: 3 - 3.9 million years – ape-like face A.

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