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Half life dating equation

Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence.Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.One way of age dating is based on known atomic concentrations Sr.Ratios are used instead of absolute concentrations because they are conveniently measured with mass spectrometers.Parent and daughter both being unstable, the ratio of their atom concentrations at a time 1, does the uncertainty propagation of the daughter half-life become important, but under these conditions, the over-all accuracy of the method is relatively poor as the propagation factors increase almost exponentially with is insignificantly small.Consequently, age determinations based on activity ratios are more sensitive to the daughter half-life than to the parent half-life, which is the opposite of the effect noticed for atom ratios (equation (11)).The exponential decay of radionuclides as a function of time is a cornerstone of nuclear physics and radionuclide metrology.

Larger errors can occur for radionuclides with shorter or less reliably known half-life.

Age dating of U is more difficult than Pu dating, because their long half-lives lead to minute amounts of ingrowing daughter nuclides.

Besides the quality of the separation, the current uncertainties on the relevant half-lives are a major limiting factor on the attainable accuracy.

Another dating technique, Pb in various layers of a sediment core is an indicator of the accumulation rate.

For this technique, the uncertainty on the half-life is of minor importance compared to the modelling issues and the measurement uncertainty on the difference between Radioactive disequilibrium between parent and daughter arises when both are separated by physicochemical processes, e.g. Following this separation, the daughter starts to grow in again.

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Information on the time of separation may be obtained from measuring the ratio of parent to daughter atoms.

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