Radioactive dating enables geologists to record the history of the earth and its events, such as the dinosaur era, within what they call the geologic time scale. What is Carbon Dating? Chemistry for Kids Science. Radioactive dating definition in earth science.
Radioactive dating - definition of radioactive dating by The Free Dictionary
The term is commonly used in nuclear physics to describe how quickly unstable atoms undergo radioactive decay or how long stable atoms survive. The term is also used more generally to characterize any type of exponential or non-exponential decay. For example, the medical sciences refer to the biological half-life of drugs and other chemicals in the human body. The converse of half-life is doubling time. The original term, half-life period , dating to Ernest Rutherford 's discovery of the principle in , was shortened to half-life in the early s. Half-life is constant over the lifetime of an exponentially decaying quantity, and it is a characteristic unit for the exponential decay equation. The accompanying table shows the reduction of a quantity as a function of the number of half-lives elapsed.
A radioactive tracer is a radioactive element or compound added to a material to monitor the material's distribution as it progresses through a system. The use of a radioactive tracer is called radiolabeling, which is one form of isotopic labeling. Radioactive tracers form the basis of some medical imaging systems, such as PET scans. Radiolabeling is used in research to trace the path of elements in biochemical reactions and cells.
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