Answers to radiometric dating lab
Carbon's (C) atomic number is 6 because it has six protons in its nucleus; gold's (Au) atomic number is 79 because it has 79 atoms in its nucleus.
Some of these minerals (represented above as gray hexagons) incorporate the radioactive parent atoms (blue diamonds) into their crystalline structures; this marks the initiation of the "half-life clock" (i.e., the start time, or time zero).
To summarize, the key piece of information that needs to be determined from a mineral specimen in order to determine its absolute age is its age in number of half lives.
This can be mathematically determined by solving for = the number of half-lives that have passed. Suppose you analyzed a mineral sample and found that it contained 33,278 parent atoms and 14,382 daughter atoms.
The number of protons equals the element's atomic number.
Have a look at the periodic table of the elements below.