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Absolute dating examples

Some isotopes have half lives longer than the present age of the universe, but they are still subject to the same laws of quantum physics and will eventually decay, even if doing so at a time when all remaining atoms in the universe are separated by astronomical distances.

When exposed to water that contains fluoride, a fluoride ion (F-) can replace a hydroxyl ion (OH-) in the bone mineral.

Familiar to us as the black substance in charred wood, as diamonds, and the graphite in “lead” pencils, carbon comes in several forms, or isotopes.

One rare form has atoms that are 14 times as heavy as hydrogen atoms: carbon-14, or C ratio gets smaller.

This is consistent with the assumption that each decay event is independent and its chance does not vary over time.