3 types of radioactive dating
A given element can have many different isotopes, which differ from one another by the number of neutrons contained in the nuclei.
So, when looking at the history of a cliff face, it is important to read the story it tells from the bottom layer up.
Nuclei consist of positively charged protons and electrically neutral neutrons held together by the so-called strong or nuclear force.
This force is much stronger than the familiar electrostatic force that binds the electrons to the nucleus, but its range is limited to distances on the order of a few x10.
Radioactivity and radioactive decay are spontaneous processes.
Students often struggle with this concept; therefore, it should be stressed that it is impossible to know exactly when each of the radioactive elements in a rock will decay.