Interesting facts about carbon dating
This means that after approximately 4.5 billion years, half of an original sample containing this isotope will decay into its decay product, forming the new isotope, Pb 206 (lead 206).
To illustrate, let's use the isotope uranium-238, which has a half-life of 4.5 billion years.
Ever wonder how scientists concluded the age of the earth to be about 4.6 billion years old or how geologists determined the ages of caverns, rocks, volcanoes and the Himalayas? Well, scientists are able to answer all of these wondrous questions and more by use of a process called radiometric or radioactive dating.
Radioactive dating enables geologists to record the history of the earth and its events, such as the dinosaur era, within what they call the geologic time scale.
An isotope is a variation of an element based upon the number of neutrons.
The disintegration of the neutrons within the atom of the element's nucleus is what scientists call radioactivity.
The half-life is the amount of time it takes for half of the atoms of a specific isotope to decay.