While the moment in time at which a particular nucleus decays is unpredictable, a collection of atoms of a radioactive nuclide decays exponentially at a rate described by a parameter known as the half-life , usually given in units of years when discussing dating techniques. The carbon dating limit lies around 58, to 62, years. This temperature is what is known as closure temperature and represents the temperature below which the mineral is a closed system to isotopes. Potassiumâ€”argon dating This involves electron capture or positron decay of potassium to argon Isotopes are named for their number of protons plus neutrons. The Oxalic acid standard which was developed is no longer commercially available. We can estimate the amount of carbon that has decayed by measuring the amount of carbon to carbon

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The temperature at which this happens is known as the closure temperature or blocking temperature and is specific to a particular material and isotopic system. The trapped charge accumulates over time at a rate determined by the amount of background radiation at the location where the sample was buried.