Definitions for rubidium-strontium dating

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Princeton's WordNet

  1. rubidium-strontium dating(noun)

    geological dating based on the proportions of radioactive rubidium into its decay product strontium; radioactive rubidium has a half-life of 47,000,000,000 years

Freebase

  1. Rubidium-strontium dating

    The rubidium-strontium dating method is a radiometric dating technique used by scientists to determine the age of rocks and minerals from the quantities they contain of specific isotopes of rubidium and strontium. Development of this process was aided by German chemist Fritz Strassmann, who later went on to discover nuclear fission with German chemist Otto Hahn and Swedish physicist Lise Meitner. The utility of the rubidium-strontium isotope system results from the fact that 87Rb decays to 87Sr with a half life of 48.8 billion years. In addition, Rb is a highly incompatible element that, during fractional crystallization of the mantle, stays in the magmatic melt rather than becoming part of mantle minerals. The radiogenic daughter, 87Sr, is produced in this decay process and was produced in rounds of stellar nucleosynthesis predating the creation of the Solar System. Different minerals in a given geologic setting can acquire distinctly different ratios of radiogenic strontium-87 to naturally occurring strontium-86 through time; and their age can be calculated by measuring the 87Sr/86Sr in a mass spectrometer, knowing the amount of 87Sr present when the rock or mineral formed, and calculating the amount of 87Rb from a measurement of the Rb present and knowledge of the 85Rb/87Rb weight ratio.8786878786

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