Radioactive dating of organic materials moving from just dating to exclusive
Advantages and Disadvantages Radiometric dating has several important advantages and disadvantages, but is the only practical method scientists currently have for dating objects.Advantages include the ability to date an object without destroying it, having many different techniques to choose from, and the ability to procure a relatively accurate age of objects that are hundreds of thousands, millions, or even billions of years old.Different dating methods may be needed to confirm the age of a sample.For example, a study of the Amitsoq gneisses from western Greenland used five different radiometric dating methods to examine twelve samples and got agreement to within 30 million years on an age of 3,640my.
Elements exist in different isotopes, with each isotope of an element differing in the number of neutrons in the nucleus.
Because this new element (decay product) remains on or within the object, scientists can easily determine how old the object is. A mass spectrometer is a fundamental device in any radiometric dating experiment.
Mass spectrometers can be used to measure isotopic samples as small as one 1 nanogram.
Mass spectrometers are made up of an ion generator, analyzer, and several detectors.
The sample is ionized using the ionic generator and then passed through a magnetic field that separates the samples into different groups based on their mass and ionization levels.