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Author Topic:   14C Calibration and Correlations
JonF
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Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 18 of 59 (580850)
09-11-2010 5:47 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by faith24
09-11-2010 5:16 PM


I still don't see how it is a constant? How do i determine what is constant and what is not?

Physicists understand radioactive decay very well. They can predict what we would see today if radioactive decay rates varied in the past. Since the physics of atomic nuclei is a very fundamental part of how our universe works, it turns out that there are lots of things we would see today if radioactive decay rates varied in the past. We've looked really hard for those things, and they aren't there. We conclude (we do not assume) that radioactive decay rates have been constant for 13-ish billion years.

The Constancy of Constants
The Constancy of Constants, Part 2


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by faith24, posted 09-11-2010 5:16 PM faith24 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by faith24, posted 09-11-2010 7:20 PM JonF has responded
 Message 23 by faith24, posted 09-11-2010 10:45 PM JonF has responded

  
JonF
Member
Posts: 6171
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 21 of 59 (580865)
09-11-2010 9:19 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by faith24
09-11-2010 7:20 PM


What does the constant decay rate has to do with the age of the earth? What if the decay rate change, then what happen?

If decay rates changed, it would cause the radiometric dating methods that tell us about great ages to be wrong. If radioactive decay rates sped up the ages we would get would be older than the real age. If the Earth is really around 10,000 years old that would require speeding up radioactive decay rates so much that the Earth would melt and everyone would be fricaseed by the heat. And the radiation would fry 'em too.

Another fact is that there are many different ways that radioactive elements decay. If our methods give us the wrong answers than all those differnt ways would have to change in just the right way in a coordianted manner. Otherwise dating methods based on different modes of decay wouldn't agree so often.


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JonF
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Posts: 6171
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 28 of 59 (580989)
09-12-2010 7:23 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by faith24
09-11-2010 10:45 PM


Whether it is constant or not, that can be debatable

Well, it could be debatable; it was; but it is no more. The debate is long over. Radioactive decay rates have been constant for 13-ish billion years.


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