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Particles and rays are given off during the decay process, some in the form of "ionizing radiation." Ionizing radiation can cause adverse human-health effects.There are several naturally occurring and man-made sources of ionizing radiation that are potential water contaminants. Radon forms naturally in rocks and soils through the radioactive decay of radium.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.
So, if you know the radioactive isotope found in a substance and the isotope's half-life, you can calculate the age of the substance. Well, a simple explanation is that it is the time required for a quantity to fall to half of its starting value.
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Different methods of radiometric dating can be used to estimate the age of a variety of natural and even man-made materials.
The methods work because radioactive elements are unstable, and they are always trying to move to a more stable state. This process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by releasing radiation is called radioactive decay.