An isotope is one of two or more atoms which have the same number of protons in their nuclei, but a different number of neutrons.Radioisotopes are unstable isotopes: they spontaneously decay (emitting radiation in the process -- thus making them radioactive).If this were the case, the first assumption would be deemed unreasonable.Radiometric Dating - A Brief Explanation Radiometric dating is the primary dating scheme employed by scientists to determine the age of the earth.Radiometric dating techniques take advantage of the natural decay of radioisotopes.By measuring how long it takes for an unstable element to decay into a stable element and by measuring how much daughter element has been produced by the parent element within a specimen of rock, scientists believe they are able to determine the age of the rock.This belief is based upon three significant assumptions.Radiometric Dating - The Assumptions Many of the ages derived by radiometric dating techniques are highly publicized.
Here are the three major assumptions for your consideration: Are these foundational assumptions reasonable?Recent findings seem to indicate that though we ourselves have not been able to vary the decay rates by much in the laboratory, the decay rates may have been accelerated in the unobservable past .The Uranium-238 radioisotope goes through 13 transitional stages before stabilizing into Lead-206 (U238 Pb206).In this instance, Uranium-238 is called the "parent" and Lead-206 is called the "daughter".
They continue to decay going through various transitional states until they finally reach stability. It will spontaneously decay until it transitions into Lead-206 (Pb206).
The numbers 238 and 206 represent these isotopes' atomic mass.