Alpha decay is usually restricted to the heavier elements in the periodic table.
(Only a handful of nuclides with atomic numbers less than 83 emit an -particle.) The product of -decay is easy to predict if we assume that both mass and charge are conserved in nuclear reactions.
Radioactive dating equation
However, rocks and other objects in nature do not give off such obvious clues about how long they have been around.
So, we rely on radiometric dating to calculate their ages.
Radiometric dating, or radioactive dating as it is sometimes called, is a method used to date rocks and other objects based on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes.
Different methods of radiometric dating can be used to estimate the age of a variety of natural and even man-made materials.
The amount of carbon-14 in the atomosphere is, on an average, relatively constant.