I was wondering how ice cores are dated accurately. I know Carbon 14 is one method, but some ice cores go back hundreds of thousands of years. Would other isotopes with longer half-lives be more accurate? Also, how much does it cost to date the core? How are samples acquired without destroying the ice?
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Radiocarbon helps date ancient objects—but it's not perfect
BioMath: Carbon Dating
If someone asked you to name the three most abundant gases in Earth's atmosphere, you might choose, in some order, oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. If so, you would be right — mostly. It's a little-known fact that behind nitrogen N 2 and oxygen O 2 , the third-most plentiful gas is the noble gas argon, accounting for just under 1 percent of the atmosphere's unseen composition. The six noble gases derive their name from the fact that, from a chemistry standpoint, these elements are aloof, even haughty: They don't react with other elements, so they don't become bonded to other atoms to form more complex compounds. Rather than rendering them useless in industry, however, this tendency to mind one's own atomic business is what makes some of these gases handy for specific purposes. Five major uses of argon, for example, include its placement in neon lights, its ability to help determine the age of very old substances, its use as an insulator in manufacturing metals, its role as a welding gas and its use in 3-D printing.
Top 5 Facts: Uses of carbon
M artin Kamen had worked for three days and three nights without sleep. The US chemist was finishing off a project in which he and a colleague, Sam Ruben, had bombarded a piece of graphite with subatomic particles. The aim of their work was to create new forms of carbon, ones that might have practical uses. Exhausted, Kamen staggered out of his laboratory at Berkeley in California, having finished off the project in the early hours of 27 February He desperately needed a break.
Allotropes Some elements exist in several different structural forms, called allotropes. Each allotrope has different physical properties. For more information on the Visual Elements image see the Uses and properties section below. Group A vertical column in the periodic table. Members of a group typically have similar properties and electron configurations in their outer shell.