The technique called radiometric dating is based on

Hope that helps, and please ask if you'd like more details! I think that I will start by answering the second part of your question, just because I think that will make the answer to the first question clearer.Radiometric dating is the use of radioactive and radiogenic (those formed from the decay of radioactive parents) isotopes (isotopes are atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons in their nuclei) to determine the age of something.All radioactive isotopes have a characteristic half-life (the amount of time that it takes for one half of the original number of atoms of that isotope to decay).

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I do think that radiometric dating is an accurate way to date the earth, although I am a geochronologist so I have my biases.It is commonly used in earth science to determine the age of rock formations or features or to figure out how fast geologic processes take place (for example, how fast marine terraces on Santa Cruz island are being uplifted).Radiometric dating relies on the principle of radioactive decay.This is why crystals are good for radiometric dating: the atoms in a crystal are extremely efficiently packed, and it's very difficult to get anything into a crystal such as a contaminant by any means short of destroying the crystal and re-growing it anew.

The oldest crystals on Earth that were formed on Earth are zircon crystals, and are approximately 4.1 billion years old.

Uranium eventually decays into lead, and lead does not normally occur in zircon, except as the radioactive decay product of uranium.

The technique called radiometric dating is based on comments

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