Carbon, uranium and potassium are just a few examples of elements used in radioactive dating.Each element is made up of atoms, and within each atom is a central particle called a nucleus.Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. 1979, 1986 © Harper Collins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Cite This Source (rā'dē-ō-mět'rĭk) A method for determining the age of an object based on the concentration of a particular radioactive isotope contained within it.For inorganic materials, such as rocks containing the radioactive isotope rubidium, the amount of the isotope in the object is compared to the amount of the isotope's decay products (in this case strontium).If one knows how much of this radioactive material was present initially in the object (by determining how much of the material has decayed), and one knows the half-life of the material, one can deduce the age of the object.
If you could watch a single atom of a radioactive isotope, U-238, for example, you wouldn’t be able to predict when that particular atom might decay.
Although an element’s different isotopes have the same chemical properties, their nuclear properties are different.
The most important difference between isotopes is their stability.
Scientists can estimate how much of the radioactive isotopes were present in the body to begin with and then determine how much is currently left.
measurement, measuring, mensuration, measure - the act or process of assigning numbers to phenomena according to a rule; "the measurements were carefully done"; "his mental measurings proved remarkably accurate" techniques to precisely measure the age of the eruptions of the Kalkarindji volcanic province where lavas covered an area of more than 2 million square kilometers in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.