Definition of radioactive dating
Carbon dating uses the carbon-14 isotope, with a half life of about 5700 years.
Carbon dating has the peculiar property that it works primarily on dead things.
This dating method can deliver results accurate to a million or two years in a billion years. Radioactive dating is also known as Radiometric dating.
"Radiometric dating - the process of determining the age of rocks from the decay of their radioactive elements" Wiens, RC 2002, Radiometric Dating A Christian Perspective, 'Science in Christian Perspective', The American Science Affiliation, viewed 8 September 2009, Carbon dating is one type of radiometric dating, there are others.
The radioactive dating relies on spontaneous decomposition into other element.
There is a suspicion that the relative abundance of carbon-14 could be changing due to the thinning of the ozone layer.
The amount of carbon-14 depends on the amount of radiation permeates the ozone and thus the amount could be changing. Accuracy radioactive dating is called radiometric dating. Radioactive dating of rock samples determines the age of rocks from the time it was formed.
For organic materials, the comparison is between the current ratio of a radioactive isotope to a stable isotope of the same element and the known ratio of the two isotopes in living organisms.
Radiocarbon dating is one such type of radiometric dating.