So, you might say that the 'full-life' of a radioactive isotope ends when it has given off all of its radiation and reaches a point of being non-radioactive.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. Wiens has a Ph D in Physics, with a minor in Geology.
Together with stratigraphic principles, radiometric dating methods are used in geochronology to establish the geological time scale.
Among the best-known techniques are radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating and uranium-lead dating.
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.
So, if you know the radioactive isotope found in a substance and the isotope's half-life, you can calculate the age of the substance. Well, a simple explanation is that it is the time required for a quantity to fall to half of its starting value.
This is different to relative dating, which only puts geological events in time Most absolute dates for rocks are obtained with radiometric methods.
These use radioactive minerals in rocks as geological clocks.
He was employed at Caltech's Division of Geological & Planetary Sciences at the time of writing the first edition.
He is presently employed in the Space & Atmospheric Sciences Group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
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.