Radioactive dating of moon rocks
The energies involved are so large, and the nucleus is so small that physical conditions in the Earth (i.e. The rate of decay or rate of change of the number N of particles is proportional to the number present at any time, i.e.The half-life is the amount of time it takes for one half of the initial amount of the parent, radioactive isotope, to decay to the daughter isotope.For example lavas dated by K-Ar that are historic in age, usually show 1 to 2 my old ages due to trapped Ar.Such trapped Ar is not problematical when the age of the rock is in hundreds of millions of years.
Another possible scenario involves U leakage, again possibly as a result of a metamorphic event.Nd ratios on several minerals with a mass spectrometer and then from the slope determine the age of the rock. If a magma cools quickly on the surface of the Earth, some of the Ar may be trapped.The initial ratio has particular importance for studying the chemical evolution of the Earth's mantle and crust, as we discussed in the section on igneous rocks. If this happens, then the date obtained will be older than the date at which the magma erupted.Pb leakage is the most likely cause of discordant dates, since Pb will be occupying a site in the crystal that has suffered radiation damage as a result of U decay.U would have been stable in the crystallographic site, but the site is now occupied by by Pb.