With rubidium-strontium **dating**, we see that rubidium-87 decays into strontium-87 with a half-life of 50 billion years.

By anyone's standards, 50 billion years is a long time.

The methods work because radioactive elements are unstable, and they are always trying to move to a more stable state. This process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by releasing radiation is called radioactive decay.

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.

In fact, this form of **dating** has been used to date the age of rocks brought back to Earth from the moon.

So, we see there are a number of different methods for **dating** rocks and other non-living things, but what if our sample is organic in nature?

So, we start out with two isotopes of uranium that are unstable and radioactive.

They release radiation until they eventually become stable isotopes of lead.

Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.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.Different methods of radiometric **dating** can be used to estimate the age of a variety of natural and even man-made materials.These two uranium isotopes decay at different rates. The half-life of the uranium-238 to lead-206 is 4.47 billion years.The uranium-235 to lead-207 decay series is marked by a half-life of 704 million years.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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