Start Concept radiometric dating

Concept radiometric dating

As radioactive Parent atoms decay to stable daughter atoms (as uranium decays to lead) each disintegration results in one more atom of the daughter than was initially present and one less atom of the parent.

These radioactive elements constitute independent clocks that allow geologists to determine the age of the rocks in which they occur.

The technique of comparing the abundance ratio of a radioactive isotope to a reference isotope to determine the age of a material is called radioactive dating.

Many isotopes have been studied, probing a wide range of time scales.

Nevertheless, there is substantial evidence that the Earth and the other bodies of the Solar System are 4.5-4.6 billion years old, and that the Milky Way Galaxy and the Universe are older still.