This makes several types of radioactive dating feasible. For geologic dating, where the time span is on the order of the age of the earth and the methods use the. Radioactive Dating. Radioactive clocks Our ancestors measured the passing of time with water clocks or hourglasses. Nature has none of our modern. The technique of comparing the abundance ratio of a radioactive isotope to a reference isotope to determine the age of a material is called. By way of background, all atoms of a given element have the same number of protons in the nucleus; however, the number of neutrons in the nucleus can vary. However, any escaping argon gas would lead to a determined age younger, not older, than actual. Say, then, that their initial amounts are represented by quantities of A and cA respectively. Furthermore, astronomical data show that radioactive half-lives in elements in stars billions of light years away is the same what is radioactive dating presently measured. These timescales are associated with elements of vastly differing physical and chemical properties, deeply embedded in many processes going from the inert to the living, what is radioactive dating, from the scale of the mineral to that of our planet.