radiometric dating or radioactive dating is a technique used to date materials such as rocks or carbon in which trace radioactive impurities were selectively incorporated when they were formed the method compares the abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope within the material to the abundance of its decay products which form at a known constant rate of decay.
A further example from a lava flow off the coast of hawaii shows similar discrepancies if dated with the carbon14 method the flow appears to be less than 17000 years old but dating with the potassium argon method gives dates of 160000 to 43 million years.
radioactive isotopes will decay in a regular exponential way such that onehalf of a given amount of parent material will decay to form daughter material in a time period called a halflifea halflife is not onehalf the age of the rock when the material is liquid or gaseous the parent and daughter isotopes can escape but when the material solidifies they cannot so the ratio of parent to.
carbon dating is used to determine the age of biological artifacts up to 50000 years old this technique is widely used on recent artifacts but educators and students alike should note that this technique will not work on older fossils like those of the dinosaurs alleged to be millions of years old.
The older a sample of a radioactive material the less radioactive it is the decrease in radioactivity follows a characteristic pattern shown in the graph or decay curve the y axis can represent the radioisotope left or the measured radioactivity.
The following material has been taken from a sheet entitled several faulty assumptions are used in all radiometric dating methodscarbon 14 is used for this example which was put out by dr hovind dr hovind r1 the atmospheric c14 is presently only 13 of the way to an equilibrium value which will be reached in 30000 years this nullifies the carbon14 method as well as demonstrating.
Another absolute dating method is thermoluminescence which dates the last time an item was heated it is the only method that can be used to date rocks pottery and minerals for dates that are approximately between 300 to 10000 years old.
Six problems with the contamination explanation both mathematical analysis of the data and the nature of some of the specimens indicate that contamination does not solve the radiocarbon problem for oldearth geologists first while dinosaur bones coal and other specimens could easily be contaminated diamonds the hardest naturally occurring substance in the world are naturally.
How radiometric dating works in general radioactive elements decay gradually into other elements the original element is called the parent and the result of.