How does radioactive decay related to radiometric dating
We don’t know what happened to the rock during its ‘lifetime’.An hour glass is only useful if it is not disturbed.Some isotopes, however, are unstable and decay radioactively into other elements.There are many different radioactive isotopes that are used for radiometric dating.Everything is composed of elements and there are about 90 naturally occurring ones, such as hydrogen, carbon, oxygen and iron.
The unstable potassium isotope is called the parent while the argon product is called the daughter.Each dating method uses different kinds of assumptions to get around this problem for radiometric dating—the deadly problem caused by the fact that we cannot make measurements in the past.Apart from the fatal problem of not knowing the initial conditions, there is another problem that is just as deadly.Neither can we travel into the past to make the necessary measurements. This is the fatal problem that essentially makes radioactive dating useless as a primary method for determining age. They may assume that different minerals in the rock originally had the same isotopic ratios to start with.
Or they may assume that different rock samples from the same geographical area had the same ratio.
It’s like cracking the hourglass and having some of the sand leak out, or other sand leak in.