radioactive-dating

radioactive dating

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radiometric dating

noun
any method of determining the age of earth materials or objects of organic origin based on measurement of either short-lived radioactive elements or the amount of a long-lived radioactive element plus its decay product.
Also called radioactive dating.


Origin:
1965–70

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
radioactive dating
 
n
another term for radiometric dating

radiometric dating
 
n
Also called: radioactive dating any method of dating material based on the decay of its constituent radioactive atoms, such as potassium-argon dating or rubidium-strontium dating

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
radiometric dating   (rā'dē-ō-mět'rĭk)  Pronunciation Key 
A method for determining the age of an object based on the concentration of a particular radioactive isotope contained within it. For inorganic materials, such as rocks containing the radioactive isotope rubidium, the amount of the isotope in the object is compared to the amount of the isotope's decay products (in this case strontium). The object's approximate age can then be figured out using the known rate of decay of the isotope. For organic materials, the comparison is between the current ratio of a radioactive isotope to a stable isotope of the same element and the known ratio of the two isotopes in living organisms. Radiocarbon dating is one such type of radiometric dating.
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Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

radioactive dating definition


A process for determining the age of an object by measuring the amount of a given radioactive material it contains. If one knows how much of this radioactive material was present initially in the object (by determining how much of the material has decayed), and one knows the half-life of the material, one can deduce the age of the object.

Note: The best known example of radioactive dating employs carbon 14, a radioactive isotope of carbon.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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