This decay process leads to a more balanced nucleus and when the number of protons and neutrons balance, the atom becomes stable.
This radioactivity can be used for dating, since a radioactive 'parent' element decays into a stable 'daughter' element at a constant rate.
Radioactive decay is a natural process and comes from the atomic nucleus becoming unstable and releasing bits and pieces.
These are released as radioactive particles (there are many types).
The rate of decay (given the symbol λ) is the fraction of the 'parent' atoms that decay in unit time.
For geological purposes, this is taken as one year.
those that form during chemical reactions without breaking down).
Isotopes are important to geologists because each radioactive element decays at a constant rate, which is unique to that element.Here is an easy-to understand analogy for your students: relative age dating is like saying that your grandfather is older than you.Absolute age dating is like saying you are 15 years old and your grandfather is 77 years old.Relative age dating also means paying attention to crosscutting relationships.Say for example that a volcanic dike, or a fault, cuts across several sedimentary layers, or maybe through another volcanic rock type.