Radiometric dating rock types

That is, electrons can move closer to or farther away from the nucleus depending on the chemical bonds.This affects the coulomb barrier involved in Alpha decay, and therefore changes the height and width of the barrier through which the alpha particle must tunnel.The Be nucleus (Beryllium-7) is an electron capturer with a half-life of about 53 days, turning into Lithium-7. While this half-life is way too short to be useful for radiometric dating, the effect of the chemical state is noticeable.The reason is that, because the atomic number is only four, the 2s valence electrons are very close to the 1s electrons involved in capture.

The major reason that decay rates can change is that the electric field, from the atom's electron cloud, can change due to chemical changes.The effect of this on alpha decay, which is the most common decay mode in radiometric dating, is utterly insignificant.There is another effect that takes place in the "electron capture" type of Beta decay.The phenomenon we know as heat is simply the jiggling around of atoms and their components, so in principle a high enough temperature could cause the components of the core to break out.However, the temperature required to do this is in in the millions of degrees, so this cannot be achieved by any natural process that we know about.

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