Definitions for "Radiometric dating"
The most precise method of dating rocks in which the relative percentage of isotopes of a given radioactive element are estimated.
It is possible to use radioactivity contained within rocks to find an accurate date for when they were first laid down. This can then be used to date fossils, artefacts and even landscape features accurately. A comparison is made between a radioactive element in a pure state (that is, radioactive and unstable) and the element in its decayed state (that is, having decayed to a non-radioactive and so stable element), or between two different radioactive elements within the rock. Using accurate measuring techniques and careful scientific comparison of data, the results can be calibrated to work out the age of the rock.
The method of obtaining ages of geological materials by measuring the relative abundances of radioactive parent and daughter isotopes in them.