Nuclear dating

17-May-2018 06:16

Nuclear dating plays an important role in the fields of Earth Sciences and Archaeology as one of the few viable techniques for determining the age of geological samples.

Argon-39/Argon-40 dating is the most widely used variant of nuclear dating due to its accuracy, the small sample size required and the wide sample age range for which it is valid.

The field of particle physics evolved out of nuclear physics and the two fields are typically taught in close association.

The most commonly known application of nuclear physics is nuclear power generation, but the research has led to applications in many fields, including industrial isotopes, agricultural isotopes, nuclear medicine and magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear weapons, ion implantation in materials engineering, and radiocarbon dating in geology and archaeology.

This resonance absorption is directly proportional to the population of unpaired electrons in that particular energy state.In the years that followed, radioactivity was extensively investigated, notably by Marie and Pierre Curie as well as by Ernest Rutherford and his collaborators.By the turn of the century physicists had also discovered three types of radiation emanating from atoms, which they named alpha, beta, and gamma radiation.The initial step in the dating process is the irradiation of the geological sample in a neutron flux to convert a portion of the the naturally occurring stable isotope K-39 to Ar-39, a radioisotope with a moderate half-life of 269 years.Another isotope of argon, Ar-40, will also be present in the sample as the decay product of the naturally occurring long-lived radioisotope K-40 with a half life of 1,280,000,000 years.

This resonance absorption is directly proportional to the population of unpaired electrons in that particular energy state.

In the years that followed, radioactivity was extensively investigated, notably by Marie and Pierre Curie as well as by Ernest Rutherford and his collaborators.

By the turn of the century physicists had also discovered three types of radiation emanating from atoms, which they named alpha, beta, and gamma radiation.

The initial step in the dating process is the irradiation of the geological sample in a neutron flux to convert a portion of the the naturally occurring stable isotope K-39 to Ar-39, a radioisotope with a moderate half-life of 269 years.

Another isotope of argon, Ar-40, will also be present in the sample as the decay product of the naturally occurring long-lived radioisotope K-40 with a half life of 1,280,000,000 years.

Using an “additive dose” method of dating, a sample is deliberately exposed to gamma radiation using, for example, the Co-60 source housed at MNR, to examine the dose-response relationship between the applied radiation field and the extent of the paramagnetic defects.