What is radioactive dating
These neutrons can become unstable, and when they do, they release energy and undergo decay. Radioactivity occurs when the nucleus contains an excess amount of neutrons.Each element is made up of atoms, and within each atom is a central particle called a nucleus.Within the nucleus, we find neutrons and protons; but for now, let's just focus on the neutrons.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.The object's approximate age can then be figured out using the known rate of decay of the isotope.
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).