Imagine we have an undiscovered element, Parentium, that has a radioactive isotope, Parentium-123, which decays to stable Daughterium-123.
In geology, an absolute age is a quantitative measurement of how old something is, or how long ago it occurred, usually expressed in terms of years.
Most absolute age determinations in geology rely on radiometric methods. The most useful methods for measuring the ages of geologic materials are the radiometric methods-the ones that make use of radioactive parent isotopes and their stable daughter products, as preserved in rocks, minerals, or other geologic materials.
Carbon-13 is the isotope of carbon that has 7 neutrons.
Carbon-14 has 8 neutrons in its nucleus, along with its 6 protons, which is not a stable combination.
The slope of the line determines the date, and the closeness of fit is a measure of the statistical reliability of the resulting date.
Technical details on how these dates are calculated are given in Radiometric dating. As with any experimental procedure in any field of science, these measurements are subject to certain "glitches" and "anomalies," as noted in the literature.An isotope is a particular type of atom of a chemical element, which differs from other isotopes of that element in the number of neutrons it has in its nucleus.By definition, all atoms of a given element have the same number of protons.The latest high-tech equipment permits reliable results to be obtained even with microscopic samples.Radiometric dating is self-checking, because the data (after certain preliminary calculations are made) are fitted to a straight line (an "isochron") by means of standard linear regression methods of statistics.Students should be able to understand the principles and have that as a background so that age determinations by paleontologists and geologists don't seem like black magic. Geologists in the late 18th and early 19th century studied rock layers and the fossils in them to determine relative age.