Particular isotopes are suitable for different applications due to the type of atoms present in the mineral or other material and its approximate age.For example, techniques based on isotopes with half lives in the thousands of years, such as Carbon-14, cannot be used to date materials that have ages on the order of billions of years, as the detectable amounts of the radioactive atoms and their decayed daughter isotopes will be too small to measure within the uncertainty of the instruments.Other radiometric dating techniques are available for earlier periods.One of the most widely used is potassium–argon dating (K–Ar dating).
Carbon-14 moves up the food chain as animals eat plants and as predators eat other animals. It takes 5,730 years for half the carbon-14 to change to nitrogen; this is the half-life of carbon-14.
One of the most widely used and well-known absolute dating techniques is carbon-14 (or radiocarbon) dating, which is used to date organic remains.
This is a radiometric technique since it is based on radioactive decay.
After another 5,730 years only one-quarter of the original carbon-14 will remain.
After yet another 5,730 years only one-eighth will be left.
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Potassium-40 is a radioactive isotope of potassium that decays into argon-40.