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The key is to measure an isotope that has had time to decay a measurable amount, but not so much as to only leave a trace remaining.

Are you carbon-14? Because I'd like to date you Are you a negative.

We can measure directly, for example by using a radiation detector, and obtain a good estimate of by analyzing the chemical composition of the sample.

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(Our input data had two snificant fures, so reporting a more accurate result would be meaningless.) A important limitation of radiometric dating often overlooked by layman (and not always made clear in scholarly works as well) is that any date is actually a range, following the 68–95–99.7 rule.

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The time that it takes for half of a sample to decay is known as the half life of the isotope.Radiocarbon dating - pedia

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