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The only exceptions are nuclides that decay by the process of electron capture, such as beryllium-7, strontium-85, and zirconium-89, whose decay rate may be affected by local electron density.
For all other nuclides, the proportion of the original nuclide to its decay products changes in a predictable way as the original nuclide decays over time.
In these cases, usually the half-life of interest in radiometric dating is the longest one in the chain, which is the rate-limiting factor in the ultimate transformation of the radioactive nuclide into its stable daughter.
This transformation may be accomplished in a number of different ways, including alpha decay (emission of alpha particles) and beta decay (electron emission, positron emission, or electron capture).Radiometric dating is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts.Different methods of radiometric dating vary in the timescale over which they are accurate and the materials to which they can be applied.For instance, carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 years.
After an organism has been dead for 60,000 years, so little carbon-14 is left that accurate dating cannot be established.
As the mineral cools, the crystal structure begins to form and diffusion of isotopes is less easy.