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The Libre Texts project is currently directed by UC Davis Professor and project Founder Delmar Larsen.magazine has been continuously published since 1978, we are publishing some of the articles from the archives for historical interest, such as this.

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Radiometric dating, or radioactive dating as it is sometimes called, is a method used to date rocks and other objects based on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes.Contrary to creationist claims, it is possible to make that determination, as the following will explain: By way of background, all atoms of a given element have the same number of protons in the nucleus; however, the number of neutrons in the nucleus can vary.An atom with the same number of protons in the nucleus but a different number of neutrons is called an isotope.The geological time scale and an age for the Earth of 4.5 b.y.Radiometric dating is a means of determining the "age" of a mineral specimen by determining the relative amounts present of certain radioactive elements.For example, uranium-238 is an isotope of uranium-235, because it has 3 more neutrons in the nucleus.It has the same number of protons, otherwise it wouldn't be uranium.The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom is called its atomic number.Radiometric dating is used to estimate the age of rocks and other objects based on the fixed decay rate of radioactive isotopes.Learn about half-life and how it is used in different dating methods, such as uranium-lead dating and radiocarbon dating, in this video lesson. As we age, our hair turns gray, our skin wrinkles and our gait slows.However, rocks and other objects in nature do not give off such obvious clues about how long they have been around.

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