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Uranium-uranium dating is a radiometric dating technique which compares two isotopes of uranium (U) in a sample: uranium-234 ( 234 U) and uranium-238 ( 238 U). It is one of several radiometric dating techniques exploiting the uranium radioactive decay series , in which 238 U undergoes 14 alpha and beta decay events on the way to the stable isotope 206 Pb. Other dating techniques using this decay series include uranium-thorium dating and uranium-lead dating.
Unlike other radiometric dating techniques, those using the uranium decay series (except for those using the stable final isotopes 206 Pb and 207 Pb) compare the ratios of two radioactive unstable isotopes. This complicates calculations as both the parent and daughter isotopes decay over time into other isotopes.
In theory, the 234 U/ 238 U technique can be useful in dating samples between about 10,000 and 2 million years Before Present (BP), or up to about eight times the half-life of 234 U. As such, it provides a useful bridge in radiometric dating techniques between the ranges of 230 Th/ 238 U (accurate up to ca. 450,000 years) and U-Pb dating (accurate up to the age of the solar system, but problematic on samples younger than about 2 million years).