Different nuclides of the same element can have substantially different half-lives.) billion years old.
So, if we know how much of the nuclide was originally present, and how much there is now, we can easily calculate how long it would take for the missing amount to decay, and therefore how long its been since that particular sample was formed. We must know the original quantity of the parent nuclide in order to date our sample In order to do so, we need a nuclide thats part of a mineral compound. Because theres a basic law of chemistry that says "Chemical processes like those that form minerals cannot distinguish between different nuclides of the same element." They simply cant do it.
The half-life of a radioactive nuclide is defined as the time it takes half of a sample of the element to decay.
After emission, it quickly picks up two electrons to balance the two protons, and becomes an electrically neutral helium-4 (He4) atom. When an atom emits a beta particle, a neutron inside the nucleus is transformed to a proton.The mass number doesn't change, but the atomic number goes up by 1.Thats the essence of radiometric dating: measure the amount thats present, calculate how much is missing, and Obviously, the major question here is "how much of the nuclide was originally present in our sample? If an element has more than one nuclide present, and a mineral forms in a magma melt that includes that element, the elements different nuclides will appear in the mineral in precisely the same ratio that they occurred in the environment where and when the mineral was formed. The third and final axiom is that when an atom undergoes radioactive decay, its internal structure and also its chemical behavior change.Losing or gaining atomic number puts the atom in a different row of the periodic table, and elements in different rows behave in different ways. C14 is radioactive, with a half-life of 5730 years.Since all atoms of the same element have the same number of protons, different nuclides of an element differ in the number of neutrons they contain.
For example, hydrogen-1 and hydrogen-2 are both nuclides of the element hydrogen, but hydrogen-1's nucleus contains only a proton, while hydrogen-2's nucleus contains a proton and a neutron.
Protons and neutrons together are called nucleons, meaning particles that can appear in the atomic nucleus.
A nuclide of an element, also called an isotope of an element, is an atom of that element that has a specific number of nucleons.
Young-Earth creationists -- that is, creationists who believe that Earth is no more than 10,000 years old -- are fond of attacking radiometric dating methods as being full of inaccuracies and riddled with sources of error.
When I first became interested in the creation-evolution debate, in late 1994, I looked around for sources that clearly and simply explained what radiometric dating is and why young-Earth creationists are driven to discredit it.
In alpha decay, the radioactive atom emits an alpha particle.