Radiometric dating is a method of determining the age of an artifact by assuming that on average decay rates have been constant (see below for the flaws in that assumption) and measuring the amount of radioactive decay that has occurred.
The atoms of some chemical elements have different forms, called isotopes.
These break down over time in a process scientists call radioactive decay.
In the case of carbon dating, it is not the initial quantity that is important, but the initial ratio of C, but the same principle otherwise applies.
Recognizing this problem, scientists try to focus on rocks that do not contain the decay product originally.
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These are fruits or citrus-smelling raw materials (notably verbena and lemongrass) and a few are among the most ancient ingredients in perfumery alongside resins.
The more modern variations, such as pomelo, grapefruit, yuzu and hassaku, are relatively recent developments in the area of perfume extraction.
There are a number of implausible assumptions involved in radiometric dating with respect to long time periods.
One key assumption is that the initial quantity of the parent element can be determined.
Geologists often need to know the age of material that they find.