# Radiometric dating methods of rocks

This leaves out important information which would tell you how precise is the dating result.

This is frequently because the selected technique is used outside of its appropriate range, for example on very recent lavas. The Institute for Creation Research's RATE project aimed to show scientifically that methods of radiometric dating produced wildly inconsistent and incorrect values.To date older fossils, other methods are used, such as potassium-argon or argon-argon dating.Other forms of dating based on reactive minerals like rubidium or potassium can date older finds including fossils, but have the limitation that it is easy for ions to move into rocks post-formation so that care must be taken to consider geology and other factors.Radiometric dating — through processes similar to those outlined in the example problem above — frequently reveals that rocks, fossils, etc.are very much older than the approximately 6,000 to 10,000 years reckoned by young earth creationists.This is consistent with the assumption that each decay event is independent and its chance does not vary over time.

The solution is: where is the half-life of the element, is the time expired since the sample contained the initial number atoms of the nuclide, and is the remaining amount of the nuclide.

Symbolically, the process of radioactive decay can be expressed by the following differential equation, where N is the quantity of decaying nuclei and k is a positive number called the exponential decay constant.

The meaning of this equation is that the rate of change of the number of nuclei over time is proportional only to the number of nuclei.

Some isotopes have half lives longer than the present age of the universe, but they are still subject to the same laws of quantum physics and will eventually decay, even if doing so at a time when all remaining atoms in the universe are separated by astronomical distances.

Various elements are used for dating different time periods; ones with relatively short half-lives like carbon-14 (or C) are useful for dating once-living objects (since they include atmospheric carbon from when they were alive) from about ten to fifty thousand years old. Longer-lived isotopes provide dating information for much older times.

Although the time at which any individual atom will decay cannot be forecast, the time in which any given percentage of a sample will decay can be calculated to varying degrees of accuracy.