However, rocks and other objects in nature do not give off such obvious clues about how long they have been around.So, we rely on radiometric dating to calculate their ages.Radiometric dating, or radioactive dating as it is sometimes called, is a method used to date rocks and other objects based on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes.Different methods of radiometric dating can be used to estimate the age of a variety of natural and even man-made materials.Carbon-14 is also passed onto the animals that eat those plants.
**The amount of radio active substance (the amount of radio active particles) present in the rock or fossil is one element in finding its age.**The second element is that each radio active substance has a known frequency or known rate of delay (that is that each radio active substance decays at a known rate) and it is the rate of radio active decay that gives away the fossil or rocks age.**Carbon decays at a known or identifiable rate & thus the amount of carbon can give an identification of the items age.The methods work because radioactive elements are unstable, and they are always trying to move to a more stable state. This process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by releasing radiation is called radioactive decay.The thing that makes this decay process so valuable for determining the age of an object is that each radioactive isotope decays at its own fixed rate, which is expressed in terms of its half-life.