# Line graphs and radiometric dating proper dating behavior

Certain natural phenomena or processes, such as Earth's year-long solar orbit, and the resulting annual climatic variations that govern the growth of tree rings, can be used as "natural clocks." If we can find and date a rock that we know has been around since the Earth formed, we can measure the age of the Earth.Can we find in rocks a natural clock that has been operating since they formed?

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They generally go through a series of other radioactive isotopes before becoming stable. The stable daughter in the thorium series is lead-208 (all paths end up with lead).

Any other isotope would work for the unstable daughter isotope in an isochron dating test.

The radioactive decay process can be described simply as the transformation of an unstable radioactive atom (called the parent) to a new atom (called the daughter) that may differ in atomic number, atomic mass, or both.

The transformation occurs either by loss of particles from, or addition of particles to, the parent nucleus.

A related article on the age of the earth and geologic ages presented the current best known values for these dates: Ages.

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