Elements occur naturally in the earth, and they can tell us a lot about our Earth's past.Carbon, uranium and potassium are just a few examples of elements used in radioactive dating.A process for determining the age of an object by measuring the amount of a given radioactive material it contains.
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A new, more stable isotope, called the decay or daughter product, takes its place.
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Radioactive dating enables geologists to record the history of the earth and its events, such as the dinosaur era, within what they call the geologic time scale.
Radioactive dating uses the ratios of isotopes and their specific decay products to determine the ages of rocks, fossils and other substances.
and is now the principal source of information about the absolute age of rocks and other geological features, including the age of fossilized life forms or the age of the Earth itself, and can also be used to date a wide range of natural and man-made materials.
Together with stratigraphic principles, radiometric dating methods are used in geochronology to establish the geological time scale.
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. 1979, 1986 © Harper Collins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Cite This Source (rā'dē-ō-mět'rĭk) A method for determining the age of an object based on the concentration of a particular radioactive isotope contained within it.
For inorganic materials, such as rocks containing the radioactive isotope rubidium, the amount of the isotope in the object is compared to the amount of the isotope's decay products (in this case strontium).
Radiocarbon dating is one kind of radiometric dating, used for determining the age of organic remains that are less than 50,000 years old.