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This ratio can then be used to calculate how long this isotope has been decaying in the object since its formation.

For example, if you find that the amount of radioactive isotope left is one half of the reference amount, then the amount of time since the formation of the object would be equal to that…

Specifically, it is the amount of time it takes for half of a given sample of a radioactive isotope to decay.

Carbon-14 has a half life of 5730 years and its daughter isotope is Nitrogen-14. In radiometric dating, the amount of a certain radioactive isotope in an object is compared with a reference amount.In fact, one would expect that the ratio of oranges to apples would change in a very specific way over the time elapsed, since the process continues until all the apples are converted. A particular rock or mineral that contains a radioactive isotope (or radioisotope) is analyzed to determine the number of parent and daughter isotopes present, whereby the time since that mineral or rock formed is calculated.Of course, one must select geologic materials that contain elements with long half-lives—i.e., those for which some parent atoms would remain.For example, you would use radioactive isotope Carbon-14 to date anything under 70,000 years that was once living.Radioactive isotopes decay from their parent isotope to daughter isotope at a constant rate (under any circumstances).

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