Activity dating relative
Alpha decay is usually restricted to the heavier elements in the periodic table.
(Only a handful of nuclides with atomic numbers less than 83 emit an -particle.) The product of -decay is easy to predict if we assume that both mass and charge are conserved in nuclear reactions.
As we pointed out in these two articles, radiometric dates are based on known rates of radioactivity, a phenomenon that is rooted in fundamental laws of physics and follows simple mathematical formulas.
Dating schemes based on rates of radioactivity have been refined and scrutinized for several decades.
The product of this reaction can be predicted, once again, by assuming that mass and charge are conserved. They rapidly lose their kinetic energy as they pass through matter.