rubidium-strontium dating


rubidium-strontium dating

Method of estimating the age of rocks, minerals, and meteorites from measurements of the amount of the stable isotope strontium-87 formed by the decay of the unstable isotope rubidium-87 that was present in the rock at the time of its formation. The method is applicable to very old rocks because the transformation is extremely slow: the half-life, or time required for half the initial quantity of rubidium-87 to disappear, is approximately 48.8 billion years. See also dating.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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