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.Regardless of which name you prefer, the discovery was a true breakthrough that provided a tool to predict the geological history of the Earth and even the age of the Earth itself.To better understand how radiometric dating helps us determine the age of rocks, it will help us to gain a better understanding of how elements decay.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.
The half-life of a radioactive isotope describes the amount of time that it takes half of the isotope in a sample to decay.Radiometric dating is a method used to determine the age of rocks and other materials based on the rate of radioactive decay. Radiometric dating is a method used to date rocks based on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes. Now, they do not give off enough radiation that you have to be afraid to pick them up, but they do contain naturally occurring radioactive elements like uranium, for example.Learn about three common types of radioactive decay: alpha decay, beta decay and gamma decay. You simply subtract your birth date from the current date. It was also discovered that these elements decayed into other elements at fixed rates.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.