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.
Within the nucleus, we find neutrons and protons; but for now, let's just focus on the neutrons.
These neutrons can become unstable, and when they do, they release energy and undergo decay. Radioactivity occurs when the nucleus contains an excess amount of neutrons.
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When an atom varies in the number of neutrons, the variation is called an isotope. During radioactivity, the unstable isotope breaks down and changes into a different substance.
A new, more stable isotope, called the decay or daughter product, takes its place.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.Additionally, elements may exist in different isotopes, with each isotope of an element differing in the number of neutrons in the nucleus.any method of determining the age of earth materials or objects of organic origin based on measurement of either short-lived radioactive elements or the amount of a long-lived radioactive element plus its decay product.Free 5-day trial Radiometric dating is used to estimate the age of rocks and other objects based on the fixed decay rate of radioactive isotopes.