The New Zealand physicist Ernest Rutherford, suggested in 1905 that the exact age of a rock could be measured by means of radioactivity.For the first time he was able to exactly measure the age of a uranium mineral.There is no going back – the process is irreversible. When we pour our popcorn kernels into a popcorn popper, the is no way to know which will pop first.And once that first kernel pops, it will never be a kernel again..is forever changed! ) Teaching example using popcorn to teach radioactive decay "A variety of a chemical element (strictly, of one particular element) which is distinguished from the other varieties of the element by a different mass number but shares the same atomic number and chemical properties (and so occupies the same position in the periodic table)." That definition may not mean anything to them.It is a great introduction to the scientific process of deducing, forming scientific theories, and communicating with peers.It is also useful in the mathematics classroom by the process of graphing the data.The achievable precision depends on factors related to spectroscopy, nucleosynthesis, and chemical evolution. We quantify the uncertainties arising from the spectroscopic analysis, and compare these to the other error sources. We derive formulae for the age uncertainties arising from the spectroscopic abundance analysis, and apply them to spectroscopic and nucleosynthetic data compiled from the literature for the Sun and metal-poor stars. We obtained ready-to-use analytic formulae of the age uncertainty for the cases of stable unstable and unstable unstable chronometer pairs, and discuss the optimal relation between to-be-measured age and mean lifetime of a radioactive species.Application to the literature data indicates that, for a single star, the achievable spectroscopic accuracy is limited to about 20% for the foreseeable future.
Combined spectroscopic abundance analyses of stable and radioactive elements can be applied for deriving stellar ages.
Geological Time | Geologic Time Scale | Plate Tectonics | Radiometric Dating | Deep Time | Geological History of New Zealand | Radiometric Dating Radiometric measurements of time Since the early twentieth century scientists have found ways to accurately measure geological time.
The discovery of by the French physicist, Henri Becquerel, in 1896 paved the way of measuring absolute time.
Radioactivity and radioactive decay are spontaneous processes.
Students often struggle with this concept; therefore, it should be stressed that it is impossible to know exactly when each of the radioactive elements in a rock will decay.
Statistical probablity is the only thing we can know exactly.