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For example, a method based on a parent isotope with a very long half-life, such as C method can only be used to determine the ages of certain types of young organic material and is useless on old granites.
There are a number of long-lived radioactive isotopes used in radiometric dating, and a variety of ways they are used to determine the ages of rocks, minerals, and organic materials.
Some of the isotopic parents, end-product daughters, and half-lives involved are listed in Table 1.
Radiometric dating is based on the decay of long-lived radioactive isotopes that occur naturally in rocks and minerals.
These parent isotopes decay to stable daughter isotopes at rates that can be measured experimentally and are effectively constant over time regardless of physical or chemical conditions.
My purpose here is not to review and discuss all of the dating methods in use.