Physicist: The predictability of large numbers of random events is called the “law of large numbers“.
It causes the margin of error to be essentially zero when the number of random things becomes very large.
This works because elements have a life cycle known as a “half-life.” A half-life refers to the amount of time it takes for an isotope to lose half of its atoms as a result of decaying.
When an isotope decays, it often becomes a different kind of element altogether.
That isotope is then compared to its decaying product and scientists are able to use known decay rates to determine how old the initial isotope is.Because this new element (decay product) remains on or within the object, scientists can easily determine how old the object is. A mass spectrometer is a fundamental device in any radiometric dating experiment.Mass spectrometers can be used to measure isotopic samples as small as one 1 nanogram.I do understand that radioisotope decay is modeled exponentially, and that a majority of this dating technique is centered in probability.The margin for error, as I see it presently, cannot be small.
Following the discovery of radioactivity by Becquerel (1896), the possibility of using this phenomenon as a means for determining the age of uranium-bearing minerals was demonstrated by Rutherford (1906).