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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.
My hope with this posting is that I can try and make a complex topic a little more simple to understand and point out some “faith” given to this process by some in the scientifc community.
The time that it takes for half of a sample to decay is known as the half life of the isotope.
This is consistent with the assumption that each decay event is independent and its chance does not vary over time.
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.
The belief that radiodating methods give absolute measurements of time is widespread as a result of scientific popularization in journals, conferences, and the media.
In fact, due to the difficulties in applying the experimental method to events in the past, all chronometers based on natural or artificial nuclear disintegration need a calibration.