Disadvantages of uranium lead dating

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This is consistent with the assumption that each decay event is independent and its chance does not vary over time.

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Various elements are used for dating different time periods; ones with relatively short half-lives like carbon-14 (or C) are useful for dating once-living objects (since they include atmospheric carbon from when they were alive) from about ten to fifty thousand years old. Longer-lived isotopes provide dating information for much older times.Most rocks contain uranium, allowing uranium-lead and similar methods to date them.Other elements used for dating, such as rubidium, occur in some minerals but not others, restricting usefulness.Symbolically, the process of radioactive decay can be expressed by the following differential equation, where N is the quantity of decaying nuclei and k is a positive number called the exponential decay constant.The meaning of this equation is that the rate of change of the number of nuclei over time is proportional only to the number of nuclei.

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