Elements used for radioactive dating

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The alkali metals also include lithium, sodium, rubidium, cesium, and francium. Potassium is so active that it never occurs free in nature.It always occurs in compounds, combined with other elements.It was first prepared in pure form in 1807 by English chemist Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829).Davy used a new method of isolating elements that he had invented, electrolysis.(See sidebar on Davy in the calcium entry in Volume 1.) There are very few uses for potassium as a pure element.However, compounds of potassium have many important applications, the most important of which is as a fertilizer.

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These elements have always been present in the Earth's crust and atmosphere, and are concentrated in some places, such as uranium orebodies which may be mined.

Each “parent” radioactive isotope eventually decays into one or at most a few stable isotope “daughters” specific to that parent.

­You've probably heard people talk about radiation both in fiction and in real life.

In electrolysis, an electric current is passed through a molten (melted) compound.

The electrical current breaks the compound into its elements.

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