Carbon dating in Mars


by Master Wayne
Tags: carbon, dating, mars, mars radiometric
Master Wayne
Master Wayne is offline
#1
Feb24-14, 01:46 PM
P: 19
Hi!

I would like to know two things:

1. Is it possible to use radiometric dating on samples of rocks collected from Mars?
2. If so, in which situations would such method be impossible to use or would wield inaccurate results?

Thanks a lot for your help!
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on Phys.org
Physicists design quantum switches which can be activated by single photons
'Dressed' laser aimed at clouds may be key to inducing rain, lightning
Higher-order nonlinear optical processes observed using the SACLA X-ray free-electron laser
dauto
dauto is online now
#2
Feb24-14, 01:51 PM
P: 1,248
Radiometric dating, yes. But not carbon dating since carbon dating is used to date things like wood or other material derived from living things. You won't find any of that in Mars. But if you want to date rocks using radiometric methods (other than C14), then it should work.
Master Wayne
Master Wayne is offline
#3
Feb24-14, 03:30 PM
P: 19
What if we found life in Mars, for an example? Would carbon dating work the same way it did on earth?

dauto
dauto is online now
#4
Feb24-14, 03:41 PM
P: 1,248

Carbon dating in Mars


In principle yes, but it would have to be recalibrate. On earth the amount of C14 in the atmosphere is kept more or less constant because the amount of decay is in equilibrium with C14 production in collisions of cosmic rays with Nitrogen atoms. On mars the amount of nitrogen in the atmosphere and the amount of cosmic rays are different so the amount of C14 is bound to be different. Note as well that we're implicitly assuming that the life form is drawing its carbon from the atmosphere. That's usually the case on Earth, but there are exceptions.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Carbon dating Introductory Physics Homework 4
Carbon dating!!!!! Introductory Physics Homework 9
Carbon-14 dating Introductory Physics Homework 1
Carbon Dating Advanced Physics Homework 0
Carbon-14 dating. Chemistry 12