Potassium 40 dating rocks

K has a half-life of 1.248 billion years, which makes it eminently suitable for dating rocks.Potassium is chemically incorporated into common minerals, notably hornblende, biotite and potassium feldspar, which are component minerals of igneous rocks.When Rutherford announced his findings it soon became clear that Earth is millions of years old.These scientists and many more after them discovered that atoms of uranium, radium and several other radioactive materials are unstable and disintegrate spontaneously and consistently forming atoms of different elements and emitting radiation, a form of energy in the process.

All radioactive atoms decay to become a more stable kind of atom.

Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a fossil by using radiometric dating to measure the decay of isotopes, either within the fossil or more often the rocks associated with it.

The majority of the time fossils are dated using relative dating techniques.

Radioactive decay allows geologists and physicists to measure the age of ancient fossils, rocks and even the Earth.

This process is called radiometric or radioactive dating.