Thus, an atom of carbon-14 (C14), atomic number 6, emits a beta particle and becomes an atom of nitrogen-14 (N14), atomic number 7.A third, very rare type of radioactive decay is called electron absorption.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.Protons and neutrons together are called nucleons, meaning particles that can appear in the atomic nucleus.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.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.
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.
The rules are the same in all cases; the assumptions are different for each method.
To explain those rules, I'll need to talk about some basic atomic physics. Hydrogen-1's nucleus consists of only a single proton.
I found several good sources, but none that seemed both complete enough to stand alone and simple enough for a What is radiometric dating?
Simply stated, radiometric dating is a way of determining the age of a sample of material using the decay rates of radio-active nuclides to provide a 'clock.' It relies on three basic rules, plus a couple of critical assumptions.