As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 70,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.
Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed. So we have to rely on something called radiometric dating to figure out the age of rock.
We call the unstable nuclide that undergoes radioactive decay the parent nuclide and the nuclide that results from the radioactive decay the daughter nuclide.
This is a fairly easy concept to remember because it is as if the original nuclide is giving birth to the new nuclide, much like a human parent and daughter relationship.
Free 5-day trial Radiometric dating is a method used to determine the age of rocks and other materials based on the rate of radioactive decay. Radiometric dating is a method used to date rocks based on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes. Now, they do not give off enough radiation that you have to be afraid to pick them up, but they do contain naturally occurring radioactive elements like uranium, for example.
Learn about three common types of radioactive decay: alpha decay, beta decay and gamma decay. You simply subtract your birth date from the current date. It was also discovered that these elements decayed into other elements at fixed rates.
When a gamma ray is emitted, the atomic nucleus releases energy, so we will see gamma decay taking place in a nucleus where the energy is too high.
It's as if the nucleus is feeling too full of energy and it has to get rid of some, much like a hyperactive child who is so full of energy that he cannot stay seated in his chair.
So with this decay, we do not see the number of protons or neutrons within a nucleus changing. This decay is called gamma decay, and it is denoted by the third letter of the Greek alphabet, gamma, which looks like a lowercase 'y.' We define gamma decay as a type of radioactive decay where a gamma ray is emitted.
A gamma ray is a high-energy photon, and you have experienced gamma rays if you ever had an x-ray taken.
Gamma rays can travel through your body but not through lead.
That is why if you ever had an x-ray of your teeth, your dentist first laid a heavy lead apron over your chest, so the gamma rays only penetrated your cheek and not the rest of your body.