Uranium 235 dating fossils


Uranium minerals themselves are too uncommon to be very useful in dating. The most common dating method involves the use of minerals like zircon and monazite that are relatively common in granitic rocks. Zircon is especially useful because it frequently contains uranium in substitution for zirconium, but does not incorporate lead (as shown by the absence of Lead-204). Thus all the lead in the zircon can be assumed to be radiogenic.

In 1896 Antoine H. Becquerel discovered that uranium exhibited invisible light or rays; it was radioactivity. In 1934 research by Enrico Fermi and others eventually led to the use of uranium fission in the first nuclear weapon used in war and later in the peaceful use of uranium as fuel in nuclear power production. An ensuing arms race during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union produced tens of thousands of nuclear weapons that used uranium metal and uranium-derived plutonium-239. The security of those weapons and their fissile material following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 is an ongoing concern.


Uranium 235 dating fossils

Uranium 235 dating fossils