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The 235U–207Pb cascade has a half-life of 704 million years and the 238U–206Pb cascade is considerably slower, with a half-life of 4.47 billion years.So when a mineral grain forms (specifically, when it first cools below its trapping temperature), it effectively sets the uranium-lead "clock" to zero. Fw-300 #ya-qn-sort h2 /* Breadcrumb */ #ya-question-breadcrumb #ya-question-breadcrumb i #ya-question-breadcrumb a #bc .ya-q-full-text, .ya-q-text #ya-question-detail h1 html[lang="zh-Hant-TW"] .ya-q-full-text, html[lang="zh-Hant-TW"] .ya-q-text, html[lang="zh-Hant-HK"] .ya-q-full-text, html[lang="zh-Hant-HK"] .ya-q-text html[lang="zh-Hant-TW"] #ya-question-detail h1, html[lang="zh-Hant-HK"] #ya-question-detail h1 /* Trending Now */ /* Center Rail */ #ya-center-rail .profile-banner-default .ya-ba-title #Stencil . Bgc-lgr .tupwrap .comment-text /* Right Rail */ #Stencil . Fw-300 .qstn-title #ya-trending-questions-show-more, #ya-related-questions-show-more #ya-trending-questions-more, #ya-related-questions-more /* DMROS */ .Radiometric dating (often called radioactive dating) is a technique used to date materials, usually based on a comparison between the observed abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope and its decay products, using known decay rates.Radioactive dating refers to the process of measuring the age of an object using the amount of a given radioactive material it contains.A radioactive isotope is an isotope whose nucleus tends to release particles, radiant energy, or both; Radioactive dating is a technique for determining the age of material by measuring the amount of a particular radioactive isotope the material contain.

This dating method can deliver results accurate to a million or two years in a billion years. Radioactive dating is also known as Radiometric dating.In a 704-million-year-old rock, 235U is at its half-life and there will be an equal number of 235U and 207Pb atoms (the Pb/U ratio is 1).In a rock twice as old there will be one 235U atom left for every three 207Pb atoms (Pb/U = 3), and so forth.Other minerals sometimes used for uranium-lead dating include monazite, titanite and two other zirconium minerals, baddeleyite and zirconolite.However, zircon is so overwhelming a favorite that geologists often just refer to "zircon dating." But even the best geologic methods are imperfect.

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