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Moreover, Rutherford and all scientists since him have declared that the radioactive decay of a given element or isotope occurs “at a specific, universal, immutable rate” (Castelvecchi 2008: 21).
Based on this assumption, scientists use the decay rate of certain substances to date the age of rock formations, fossils, and the Earth itself.
As far back as the 1980s, a study of silicon-32 at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York State, and another study of radium-226 at the PTB, a scientific institute in Germany, made similar findings.
Both studies were long-term, and, according to A change of less than a percent may not sound like a lot.
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. 1979, 1986 © Harper Collins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Cite This Source (rā'dē-ō-mět'rĭk) A method for determining the age of an object based on the concentration of a particular radioactive isotope contained within it.
For inorganic materials, such as rocks containing the radioactive isotope rubidium, the amount of the isotope in the object is compared to the amount of the isotope's decay products (in this case strontium).
But if the change is real, rather than an anomaly in the detector, it would challenge the entire concept of half-life and even force physicists to rewrite their nuclear physics textbooks (Ibid.).
Because the decay rates in the two studies from the 1980s were altered by the seasons, physicists suspect that the sun was affecting the rates of decay, “possibly through some physical mechanism that had never before been observed” (Ibid.).
The great scientist Ernest Rutherford was the first to define the concept of “half-life,” that is, the time it takes for one half of the atoms in a given quantity of a radioactive element (such as plutonium) to decay into another element (such as uranium), or for one isotope of an element (such as carbon-14) to decay into another isotope of that same element (such as carbon-12)...
For example if you have a fossil trilobite and it was found in the Wheeler Formation.