Geochronometers and radio carbon dating
Studying the material remains of past human life and activities may not seem important or exciting to the average Joe unlike the biological sciences.
But archaeology’s aim to understand mankind is a noble endeavor that goes beyond uncovering buried treasures, gathering information, and dating events.
Different minerals in a given geologic setting can acquire distinctly different ratios of radiogenic strontium-87 to naturally occurring strontium-86 (Sr as the parent melt.Anthropologists can describe a people’s physical character, culture, and environmental and social relations.Archaeologists, on the other hand, provide proof of authenticity of a certain artifact or debunk historical or anthropological findings.Mass spectrometers detect atoms of specific elements according to their atomic weights.
They, however, do not have the sensitivity to distinguish atomic isobars (atoms of different elements that have the same atomic weight, such as in the case of carbon 14 and nitrogen 14—the most common isotope of nitrogen).However, because Rb substitutes for K in minerals and these minerals have different K/Ca ratios, the minerals will have had different Rb/Sr ratios.