By measuring how long it takes for an unstable element to decay into a stable element and by measuring how much daughter element has been produced by the parent element within a specimen of rock, scientists believe they are able to determine the age of the rock.This belief is based upon three significant assumptions.
Geological Time | Geologic Time Scale | Plate Tectonics | Radiometric Dating | Deep Time | Geological History of New Zealand | Radiometric Dating Radiometric measurements of time Since the early twentieth century scientists have found ways to accurately measure geological time.
The discovery of by the French physicist, Henri Becquerel, in 1896 paved the way of measuring absolute time.
The Uranium-238 radioisotope goes through 13 transitional stages before stabilizing into Lead-206 (U238 Pb206).
In this instance, Uranium-238 is called the "parent" and Lead-206 is called the "daughter".
Radiometric Dating - The Assumptions Many of the ages derived by radiometric dating techniques are highly publicized.