Radiometric dating is

The principal evidence for the antiquity of Earth and its cosmic surroundings is: Spontaneous breakdown or decay of atomic nuclei, termed radioactive decay, is the basis for all radiometric dating methods.

Radioactivity was discovered in 1896 by French physicist Henri Becquerel.

As a result, rocks that record its earliest history have not been found and probably no longer exist.

Nevertheless, there is substantial evidence that the Earth and the other bodies of the Solar System are 4.5-4.6 billion years old, and that the Milky Way Galaxy and the Universe are older still.

His Ph D thesis was on isotope ratios in meteorites, including surface exposure dating.

He was employed at Caltech's Division of Geological & Planetary Sciences at the time of writing the first edition.

So, we rely on radiometric dating to calculate their ages.

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.

Wiens has a Ph D in Physics, with a minor in Geology.

If we know the number of radioactive parent atoms present when a rock formed and the number present now, we can calculate the age of the rock using the decay constant.

The number of parent atoms originally present is simply the number present now plus the number of daughter atoms formed by the decay, both of which are quantities that can be measured.

By 1907 study of the decay products of uranium (lead and intermediate radioactive elements that decay to lead) demonstrated to B. Boltwood that the lead/uranium ratio in uranium minerals increased with geologic age and might provide a geological dating tool.

Radiometric dating is used to estimate the age of rocks and other objects based on the fixed decay rate of radioactive isotopes.

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The thing that makes this decay process so valuable for determining the age of an object is that each radioactive isotope decays at its own fixed rate, which is expressed in terms of its half-life.

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