Radioactive elements "decay" (that is, change into other elements) by "half lives." If a half life is equal to one year, then one half of the radioactive element will have decayed in the first year after the mineral was formed; one half of the remainder will decay in the next year (leaving one-fourth remaining), and so forth.
The formula for the fraction remaining is one-half raised to the power given by the number of years divided by the half-life (in other words raised to a power equal to the number of half-lives).
Based on our study of meteorites and rocks from the Moon, as well as modeling the formation of planets, it is believed (pretty much well-established) that all of the objects in the Solar System formed very quickly about 4.56 billion years ago.
When we age date a planet, we are actually just dating the age of the surface, not the whole planet.
It has the same number of protons, otherwise it wouldn't be uranium.
The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom is called its atomic number.
Gregory Brennecka of Arizona State University and colleagues measured the relative amounts of Uranium 238 to Uranium 235 from several samples taken from the large Allende meteorite, named for the village in Mexico near where it landed in 1969.
For the others, one can only use relative age dating (such as counting craters) in order to estimate the age of the surface and the history of the surface.These ions are accelerated in an electric field through collimating slits and subject to a magnetic field which causes the ions to follow a curved path. By adjustment of the strength of the magnetic field and suitable placement of an ion collector, the different isotopes can be measured with precision.There are some things that affect these measurements.The differing amounts of material that were found in separate samplings of the same meteorite were unexpected.The current standard age assigned to the solar system of 4.6 billion years was determined by studying the Uranium-to-Lead decay systems in meteorites, which are assumed to have formed before the planets did.