How is radiometric dating used

his document discusses the way radiometric dating and stratigraphic principles are used to establish the conventional geological time scale.

The elements embedded in the Earth's crust decay over time because they are very unstable.When these elements decay and turn into other elements, scientists measure the difference between the original element and its decayed form.Continue Reading During the formation of the Earth, radioactive elements became embedded in the minerals that make up the Earth's crust.Since many of the minerals seen on a daily basis contain elements that decay over time, scientists can determine the ages of certain types of rocks.Since the rates at which these elements are fixed, all that's left to do is find out where the element is in its decaying process.

The rate by which these unstable elements decay are generally expressed in terms of half-life.

Radiometric dating works by determining the ratio of the number of isotopes of an element and the number of isotopes the element it turns into over time.

Since the rate at which certain elements decay and turn into different elements is understood, scientists are able to calculate the age of substances.

For example, in 1991, two hikers discovered a mummified man, preserved for centuries in the ice on an alpine mountain.

Later called Ötzi the Iceman, small samples from his body were carbon dated by scientists.

There's a small amount of radioactive carbon-14 in all living organisms.