Definition of radioactive dating
When a substance is described as radioactive, it means that at the subatomic (relating to parts of an atom) level, some parts of it are unstable.When a substance is described as unstable, it means that it has a tendency to break down or decay.When an atom varies in the number of neutrons, the variation is called an isotope. During radioactivity, the unstable isotope breaks down and changes into a different substance.A new, more stable isotope, called the decay or daughter product, takes its place.It has given paleontologists (a person specializing in the study of fossils) as well as geologists (a person specializing in the study of the origin, history, and structure of Earth) a powerful way of dating ancient objects.Until the discovery of radioactive dating, scientists had no way of approximating how old any part of Earth was.is a technique used by scientists to learn the ages of biological specimens – for example, wooden archaeological artifacts or ancient human remains – from the distant past.It can be used on objects as old as about 62,000 years.
They have the same ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 as the atmosphere, and this same ratio is then carried up the food chain all the way to apex predators, like sharks.
One way that helps scientists place fossils into the correct era on the Geologic Time Scale is by using radiometric dating.