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These ions are accelerated in an electric field through collimating slits and subject to a magnetic field which causes the ions to follow a curved path. By adjustment of the strength of the magnetic field and suitable placement of an ion collector, the different isotopes can be measured with precision.There are some things that affect these measurements.The biggest assumption is that, to first order, the number of asteroids and comets hitting the Earth and the Moon was the same as for Mercury, Venus, and Mars. The bottom line is that the more craters one sees, the older the surface is.This can be interpreted in two ways: why it is important to know the age of a planet or how is age dating important in determining the age of a planet?Trees undergo spurts in growth in the spring and summer months while becoming somewhat dormant in the fall and winter months.When a tree is cut down, these periods are exhibited in a cross section of the trunk in the form of rings.
For others, all we are doing is getting a relative age, using things like the formation of craters and other features on a surface.Simply counting the number of rings will give one a fairly good idea of the age of the tree.Periods of heavy rain and lots of sunshine will make larger gaps of growth in the rings, while periods of drought might make it difficult to count individual rings. When a given quantity of an isotope is created (in a supernovae, for example), after the half-life has expired, 50% of the parent isotope will have decomposed into daughter isotopes.On the surface, radiometric dating methods appear to give powerful support to the statement that life has existed on the earth for hundreds of millions, even billions, of years.We are told that these methods are accurate to a few percent, and that there are many different methods.