# Radiometric dating geology - Radiometric Dating | Answers in Genesis

What do I mean? How can something be accurate and yet wrong? To understand this point, we need to understand what exactly is being measured during a radiometric dating test. One thing that is not being directly measured is the actual age of the sample.

While the moment in time at which a particular nucleus decays is random, a collection of atoms of a radioactive nuclide decays exponentially at a rate described by a parameter known as the half-life , usually given in units of years when discussing dating techniques. After one half-life has elapsed, one half of the atoms of the substance in question will have decayed. Many radioactive substances decay from one nuclide into a final, stable decay product (or "daughter") through a series of steps known as a decay chain . In this case, usually the half-life reported is the dominant (longest) for the entire chain, rather than just one step in the chain. Nuclides useful for radiometric dating have half-lives ranging from a few thousand to a few billion years.

Radiometric dating geology

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Radiometric dating geology