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Radioisotope dating (also referred to as radiometric dating) is the process of estimating the age of rocks from the decay of their radioactive elements.
There are certain kinds of atoms in nature that are unstable and spontaneously change (decay) into other kinds of atoms.
Radiocarbon decays slowly in a living organism, and the amount lost is continually replenished as long as the organism takes in air or food.
Once the organism dies, however, it ceases to absorb carbon-14, so that the amount of the radiocarbon in its tissues steadily decreases.
In 1972 this assumption was shown to be highly questionable.
Absolute dating provides a numerical age or range in contrast with relative dating which places events in order without any measure of the age between events.