Argon radioactive dating
Shortly after Becquerel's find, Marie Curie, a French chemist, isolated another highly radioactive element, .
The realisation that radioactive materials emit rays indicated a constant change of those materials from one element to another.
Radiometric dating is a means of determining the "age" of a mineral specimen by determining the relative amounts present of certain radioactive elements.
By "age" we mean the elapsed time from when the mineral specimen was formed.
When Rutherford announced his findings it soon became clear that Earth is millions of years old.
These scientists and many more after them discovered that atoms of uranium, radium and several other radioactive materials are unstable and disintegrate spontaneously and consistently forming atoms of different elements and emitting radiation, a form of energy in the process.
Various elements are used for dating different time periods; ones with relatively short half-lives like carbon-14 (or C) are useful for dating once-living objects (since they include atmospheric carbon from when they were alive) from about ten to fifty thousand years old. Longer-lived isotopes provide dating information for much older times.
This is consistent with the assumption that each decay event is independent and its chance does not vary over time.