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Different methods rovks radiometric dating vary in the timescale over which they are accurate and the materials to which they can be applied.That is, at some point in time, an atom of such a nuclide will undergo and spontaneously transform into a different nuclide.Potassium is a very common mineral and is found in sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rock. Ina radioactive dating method for determining the age of organic materials, was developed by Willard Frank Libby, who received wnd Nobel Prize in Chemistry in for his radiocarbon research.All living plants and animals contain carbonand while most of the total carbon is carbon, a very datijg amount of the total carbon is radioactive carbon Libby found that the amount of carbon remains constant in a living plant or animal and is in equilibrium with the environment, however once the organism dies, the carbon within it diminishes according to its rate of decay.The discovery of the radioactive properties of uranium in by Henri Becquerel subsequently revolutionized the way scientists measured the age of artifacts and supported the theory that the earth was considerably older than some scientists believed.There are several methods of determining the actual or relative age of the earth's crust: However, one of the most widely used and accepted method is radioactive dating.Sedimentary rock is dated by its association in the geologic column with igneous and metamorphic rock which can be dated by radioactive dating techniques. In the nineteenth century, prominent scientists such agee Charles Lyell, Charles Darwin, Sir William Thomson Lord Kelvinand Thomas Huxley, were in continual debate about the age of the earth.
The long half-life of uranium makes it possible to date only the oldest rocks.Sedimentary rock is composed of the weathered remains of a variety of rocks of all ages.It would therefore only be possible to date specific components of a sample, none of which would equate to the age of the sedimentary rock as a unit.Sedimentary rock is dated by its association in the geologic column daring igneous and metamorphic rock which can be dated by radioactive dating techniques.
For most radioactive nuclides, the half-life depends solely on can radiometric dating be used on sedimentary rocks properties and is essentially a constant.This method is not reliable for measuring the age of rocks less than 10 million years radioactibe because so little of the uranium will have decayed within that period of time.