Radiometric dating 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. Add to Add to Add to. Each element has unique properties. The decay rates might be slowing down over time, leading to incorrect old dates. Lunar rocks also lie on the Geochron, at least suggesting that the moon formed at the same time as meteorites.
Another layering technique uses seasonal variations in sedimentary layers deposited underwater.
These will be discussed in the next section. The basic equation of radiometric dating requires that neither the parent nuclide nor the daughter product can enter or leave the material after its formation. The age of a tree can be determined by counting the growth rings. For this a batch of the pure parent material is carefully weighed and then put in front of a Geiger counter or gamma-ray detector. Portions of it were written specifically for use by K students, so it is easy to understand. Let's review. A small error in the half-lives leads to a very large error in the date.