Radio active dating
Any dead material incorporated with sedimentary deposits is a possible candidate for carbon-14 dating.
Radiometric dating has been used to determine the ages of the Earth, Moon, meteorites, ages of fossils, including early man, timing of glaciations, ages of mineral deposits, recurrence rates of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, the history of reversals of Earth's magnetic field, and many of other geological events and processes.
Each element comes in different forms, called isotopes, most of which are stable and do not change.
Some isotopes, however, are unstable and decay radioactively into other elements.
If an igneous or other rock is metamorphosed, its radiometric clock is reset, and potassium-argon measurements can be used to tell the number of years that has passed since metamorphism.
Carbon-14 is a method used for young (less than 50,000 year old) sedimentary rocks.
In other words, the hourglass only works when we know its initial condition.
Unlike the hourglass, we do not know how much of each isotope was in the rock in the beginning.
With the help of half-life values of a suitable radioisotope of an element, which is present in a rock, or in an artifact, the age of the rock and the artifact can be determined.
One of the interesting applications of radioactive decay is the technique of radioactive dating.
Radioactive dating allows the estimation of the age of any object which was alive once, using the natural radioactivity of .
Radioactive decay occurs at a constant rate, specific to each radioactive isotope.
Since the 1950s, geologists have used radioactive elements as natural "clocks" for determining numerical ages of certain types of rocks. "Forms" means the moment an igneous rock solidifies from magma, a sedimentary rock layer is deposited, or a rock heated by metamorphism cools off.