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As radioactive Parent atoms decay to stable daughter atoms (as uranium decays to lead) each disintegration results in one more atom of the daughter than was initially present and one less atom of the parent.The probability of a parent atom decaying in a fixed period of time is always the same for all atoms of that type regardless of temperature, pressure, or chemical conditions. The time required for one-half of any original number of parent atoms to decay is the half-life, which is related to the decay constant by a simple mathematical formula.Earth's lithosphere is divided into several rigid tectonic plates that migrate across the surface over periods of many millions of years.

These radioactive elements constitute independent clocks that allow geologists to determine the age of the rocks in which they occur.Over 7.6 billion humans live on Earth and depend on its biosphere and natural resources for their survival.Humans have developed diverse societies and cultures; politically, the world has about 200 sovereign states.Radioactivity was discovered in 1896 by French physicist Henri Becquerel.By 1907 study of the decay products of uranium (lead and intermediate radioactive elements that decay to lead) demonstrated to B. Boltwood that the lead/uranium ratio in uranium minerals increased with geologic age and might provide a geological dating tool.

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