PART 1: Back to Basics PART 2: Problems with the Assumptions PART 3: Making Sense of the Patterns This three-part series will help you properly understand radiometric dating, the assumptions that lead to inaccurate dates, and the clues about what really happened in the past.
Most people think that radioactive dating has proven the earth is billions of years old.
But there are some questions that come to mind: Calculus students typically meet this problem somewhere in the second semester.
Part 1 (in the previous issue) explained how scientists observe unstable atoms changing into stable atoms in the present.
Protons and neutrons make up the center (nucleus) of the atom, and electrons form shells around the nucleus.
The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom determines the element.
We could be sure that a mineral containing parentium originally had no daughterium.
If the mineral contained 1 part per million Parentium-123 and 3 parts per million Daughterium-123, we could be sure all the Daughterium-123 was originally Parentium-123.