Our ability to interpret and understand geologic events has been significantly enhanced by the development of various tools which allow us to determine the absolute age of many rocks and/or minerals.
There are several different techniques and approaches possible, but all rely on the principles of radioactive decay of unstable isotopes of elements present in trace quantities in many rocks and minerals.
It is the principal source of information about the absolute age of rocks and other geological features, including the age of the Earth itself, and it can be used to date a wide range of natural and man-made materials.
The best-known radiometric dating techniques include radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating, and uranium-lead dating.
He was employed at Caltech's Division of Geological & Planetary Sciences at the time of writing the first edition.
The Age Equation is central to geochronology, and forms the basis for age calculations.After one half-life has elapsed, one half of the atoms of the nuclide in question will have decayed into a "daughter" nuclide, or decay product.In many cases, the daughter nuclide is radioactive, resulting in a decay chain.Radiometric dating, often called radioactive dating, is a technique used to determine the age of materials such as rocks.It is based on a comparison between the observed abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope and its decay products, using known decay rates.