3 types of radioactive dating
Some, however, are unstable -- given time, they will spontaneously undergo one of the several kinds of radioactive decay, changing in the process into another element.
There are two common kinds of radioactive decay, alpha decay and beta decay.
Uranium-238 contains 92 protons and 146 neutrons, while uranium-235 contains 92 protons and 143 neutrons.
To keep it short, a nuclide is usually written using the elements abbreviation.
A nuclide of an element, also called an isotope of an element, is an atom of that element that has a specific number of nucleons.
Young-Earth creationists -- that is, creationists who believe that Earth is no more than 10,000 years old -- are fond of attacking radiometric dating methods as being full of inaccuracies and riddled with sources of error.
When I first became interested in the creation-evolution debate, in late 1994, I looked around for sources that clearly and simply explained what radiometric dating is and why young-Earth creationists are driven to discredit it.
After emission, it quickly picks up two electrons to balance the two protons, and becomes an electrically neutral helium-4 (He4) atom. When an atom emits a beta particle, a neutron inside the nucleus is transformed to a proton.
The mass number doesn't change, but the atomic number goes up by 1.
Some nuclides have very long half-lives, measured in billions or even trillions of years.