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This is different to relative dating, which only puts geological events in time Most absolute dates for rocks are obtained with radiometric methods.

These use radioactive minerals in rocks as geological clocks.

Others measure the subatomic particles that are emitted as an isotope decays.

Some measure the decay of isotopes more indirectly.

Most directly measure the amount of isotopes in rocks, using a mass spectrometer.For example, fission track dating measures the microscopic marks left in crystals by subatomic particles from decaying isotopes.Another example is luminescence dating, which measures the energy from radioactive decay that is trapped inside nearby crystals.Potassium-Argon dating: The element potassium (symbol K) has three nuclides, K39, K40, and K41. K40 can decay in two different ways: it can break down into either calcium or argon.The ratio of calcium formed to argon formed is fixed and known.

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