The half-lives of certain types of radioisotopes are very useful to know.
They allow us to determine the ages of very old artifacts.
Half-lives of radioactive substances can range from fractions of a second to billions of years, and they are always the same for a given nucleus, regardless of temperature or other conditions.
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The rate at which a radioactive isotope decays is measured in half-life.
The term half-life is defined as the time it takes for one-half of the atoms of a radioactive material to disintegrate.
The fossil record may be incomplete and may never fully completed, but there are still many clues to evolution and how it happens within the fossil record.
One way that helps scientists place fossils into the correct era on the Geologic Time Scale is by using radiometric dating.
After another fifty years, a quarter-pound will be left undecayed, and so on.