Radiometric dating equation used
The importance of internal checks as well as interlaboratory comparisons becomes all the more apparent when one realizes that geochronology laboratories are limited in number.
Because of the expensive equipment necessary and the combination of geologic, chemical, and laboratory skills required, geochronology is usually carried out by teams of experts.
To compensate for the loss of mass (and energy), the radioactive atom undergoes internal transformation and in most cases simply becomes an atom of a different chemical element.
In terms of the numbers of atoms present, it is as if apples changed spontaneously into oranges at a fixed and known rate.
Two alterations are generally made to equation 4 in order to obtain the form most useful for radiometric dating.
In other words, each radioisotope has its own decay constant, abbreviated λ, which provides a measure of its intrinsic rapidity of decay.In fact, one would expect that the ratio of oranges to apples would change in a very specific way over the time elapsed, since the process continues until all the apples are converted. A particular rock or mineral that contains a radioactive isotope (or radio-isotope) is analyzed to determine the number of parent and daughter isotopes present, whereby the time since that mineral or rock formed is calculated.Of course, one must select geologic materials that contain elements with long half-lives— those for which some parent atoms would remain.isotope is converted into another specific atom or isotope at a constant and known rate.Most elements exist in different atomic forms that are identical in their chemical properties but differ in the number of neutral particles— neutrons—in the nucleus.
The situation is analogous to the death rate among human populations insured by an insurance company.