Radioactive dating definition in biology

Home » Elements radioactive Elements, radioactive chemical elements which spontaneously transmute into another element with corpuscular or electromagnetic radiation.

The natural radioactive elements are all those with an atomic number above 83, and some other elements, such as potassium (atomic number 19) and rubidium (atomic number 7), which are very weakly radioactive.

Later called Ötzi the Iceman, small samples from his body were carbon dated by scientists.

The results showed that Ötzi died over 5000 years ago, sometime between 33 BC. Uranium has a very long half-life and so by measuring how much uranium is left in a rock its approximate age can be worked out.

A particular isotope of a particular element is called a nuclide. That is, at some point in time, an atom of such a nuclide will spontaneously change into a different nuclide by radioactive decay.

The decay may happen by emission of particles (usually electrons (beta decay), positrons or alpha particles) or by spontaneous nuclear fission, and electron capture.

Different methods of radiometric dating can be used to estimate the age of a variety of natural and even man-made materials.