# Radioisotope dating accuracy

We will deal with carbon dating first and then with the other dating methods.

It makes no sense at all if man appeared at the end of billions of years.Atoms of radioactive isotopes are unstable and decay over time by shooting off particles at a fixed rate, transmuting the material into a more stable substance.For instance, half the mass of carbon-14, an unstable isotope of carbon, will decay into nitrogen-14 over a period of 5,730 years.C) dating usually want to know about the radiometric[1] dating methods that are claimed to give millions and billions of years—carbon dating can only give thousands of years.People wonder how millions of years could be squeezed into the biblical account of history. Christians, by definition, take the statements of Jesus Christ seriously.The unswerving regularity of this decay allows scientists to determine the age of extremely old organic materials -- such as remains of Paleolithic campfires -- with a fair degree of precision.

The decay of uranium-238, which has a half-life of nearly 4.5 billion years, enabled geologists to determine the age of the Earth.

The key is to measure an isotope that has had time to decay a measurable amount, but not so much as to only leave a trace remaining.

Given isotopes are useful for dating over a range from a fraction of their half life to about four or five times their half life.

Symbolically, the process of radioactive decay can be expressed by the following differential equation, where N is the quantity of decaying nuclei and k is a positive number called the exponential decay constant.

The meaning of this equation is that the rate of change of the number of nuclei over time is proportional only to the number of nuclei.

So, we have a “clock” which starts ticking the moment something dies.