This chain eventually ends with the formation of a stable, nonradioactive daughter nuclide.
Each step in such a chain is characterized by a distinct half-life.
The best-known radiometric dating techniques include radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating, and uranium-lead dating.
Radioactive decay is a natural process and comes from the atomic nucleus becoming unstable and releasing bits and pieces.
These are released as radioactive particles (there are many types).
When an organism dies it ceases to replenish carbon in its tissues and the decay of carbon 14 to nitrogen 14 changes the ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 14.
Experts can compare the ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 14 in dead material to the ratio when the organism was alive to estimate the date of its death.