Yet this view is based on a misunderstanding of how radiometric dating works.
Part 1 (in the previous issue) explained how scientists observe unstable atoms changing into stable atoms in the present.
Karen Alonzi-Van Gundy has twenty-one years experience as an elementary school teacher in Jefferson County, Colorado.
She is involved in teacher education through Colorado State University and the Colorado School of Mines.
We know that elements can exist as isotopes, which means that their atomic nuclei contain the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons.
Using other people’s research or ideas without giving them due credit is plagiarism.
Most people think that radioactive dating has proven the earth is billions of years old.
In fact, you might like this term better, because the dating method relies on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes.
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.
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.