Radioactive decay dating rocks

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This energy damages the crystalline structure of the mineral and leaves in its wake a signature in the form of a series of discolored concentric rings—radiohalos—characteristic of the radionuclide that produced the alpha particles.

In the processes of beta and positron decay, the energy is shared between the emitted beta or positron particles and an antineutrino or neutrino respectively.

These radiohalos originate from tiny point-like inclusions of U or some other naturally occurring radioisotope within the crystal.

Unfortunately for the secularist, there are radiohalos formed from what appears to be primordial Po (polonium), rather than Po in the form of daughter isotopes from U decay.

This makes energy spectroscopy for these decays more challenging than for alpha or gamma decays.

If the parent nucleus decays to an excited state of the daughter nucleus for any of the above decays, then gamma rays can also accompany the emitted particles.

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