Zircon and radiometric dating

Lead atoms created by uranium decay are trapped in the crystal and build up in concentration with time.

The principal evidence for the antiquity of Earth and its cosmic surroundings is: Spontaneous breakdown or decay of atomic nuclei, termed radioactive decay, is the basis for all radiometric dating methods.The energies involved are so large, and the nucleus is so small that physical conditions in the Earth (i.e. The rate of decay or rate of change of the number N of particles is proportional to the number present at any time, i.e.The half-life is the amount of time it takes for one half of the initial amount of the parent, radioactive isotope, to decay to the daughter isotope.The uranium and thorium decay systems offer a multitude of radiometric dating options.Uranium 238 decays through a series of steps to Lead 206.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.

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