As radioactive isotopes of elements decay, they lose their radio activity and become a brand new element known as a daughter isotope.
By measuring the ratio of the amount of the original radioactive element to the daughter isotope, scientists can determine how many half-lives the element has undergone and from there can figure out the absolute age of the sample.
Free 5-day trial Radiometric dating is used to estimate the age of rocks and other objects based on the fixed decay rate of radioactive isotopes.
Half-life is defined as the time it takes for one half of a radioactive element to decay into a daughter isotope.
This decay is an example of an exponential decay, shown in the figure below.
Knowing about half-lives is important because it enables you to determine when a sample of radioactive material is safe to handle.
Perhaps the most widely used evidence for the Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection is the fossil record.
The fossil record may be incomplete and may never fully completed, but there are still many clues to evolution and how it happens within the fossil record.
Radiometric dating is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts.