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We are very aware that we live in a place where a serious earthquake can occur and every October the college participates in the Great Shake Out.

Below is a list of some resources for preparing for and recovering from earthquakes.

Different methods of radiometric dating can be used to estimate the age of a variety of natural and even man-made materials.

The methods work because radioactive elements are unstable, and they are always trying to move to a more stable state. This process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by releasing radiation is called radioactive decay.

I teach in a college located in the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley of California.For example, with potassium-argon dating, we can tell the age of materials that contain potassium because we know that potassium-40 decays into argon-40 with a half-life of 1.3 billion years.With rubidium-strontium dating, we see that rubidium-87 decays into strontium-87 with a half-life of 50 billion years.The uranium-235 to lead-207 decay series is marked by a half-life of 704 million years.These differing rates of decay help make uranium-lead dating one of the most reliable methods of radiometric dating because they provide two different decay clocks.

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