Radiometric dating rock types
Radiocarbon dating, also known as carbon-14 dating or simply carbon dating, is a method used to determine the age of organic material by measuring the radioactivity of its carbon content.So, radiocarbon dating can be used to find the age of things that were once alive, like the Iceman.When the isotope is halfway to that point, it has reached its half-life.There are different methods of radiometric dating that will vary due to the type of material that is being dated.So, if you know the radioactive isotope found in a substance and the isotope's half-life, you can calculate the age of the substance. Well, a simple explanation is that it is the time required for a quantity to fall to half of its starting value.So, you might say that the 'full-life' of a radioactive isotope ends when it has given off all of its radiation and reaches a point of being non-radioactive.
The uranium-235 to lead-207 decay series is marked by a half-life of 704 million years.However, rocks and other objects in nature do not give off such obvious clues about how long they have been around.So, we rely on radiometric dating to calculate their ages.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.The thing that makes this decay process so valuable for determining the age of an object is that each radioactive isotope decays at its own fixed rate, which is expressed in terms of its half-life.