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North Carolina will face top-seeded Virginia on Saturday night at Barclays Center, where the Tar Heels are seeking a 19th tournament crown.

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The current model of radioisotope dating is based on that idea.

But that model doesn’t account for differential mass diffusion – the tendency of different atoms to diffuse though a material at different rates.

“Some mathematical and geophysical considerations in radioisotope dating applications” : 10.13182/NT16-98 Abstract: Some quality considerations for use in isotopic dating are presented to identify and correct heretofore unidentified overestimate scenarios.

These include to a lesser degree the statistical interpretation issues with linear least squares fitting results but more importantly the isotope effect in the individual components of the isochron coefficient ratios.

An associated optimal sampling technique would involve using single grain etching.

It is also shown that the only method to fully eliminate the isotope effect is to not use isotopic ratios at all in radioisotopic dating as the physics do not require the use of isotopic ratios for geochronological dating.

Radioactive elements, such as rubidium-87 (but not strontium-86 or strontium-87), decay over time.

By evaluating the concentrations of all of these isotopes in a rock sample, scientists can determine what its original make-up of strontium and rubidium were.

And atoms of strontium-86 can diffuse more readily than atoms of strontium-87 or rubidium, simply because atoms of strontium-86 are smaller.

“It’s a slow process, but not necessarily a negligible one when you’re talking about geological time scales,” says Robert Hayes, an associate professor of nuclear engineering at NC State and author of a paper describing the work.

“We’ve just got to make sure we’re taking good shots and making sure we’re moving them on the defensive end.

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