Needless to say, the description of the procedure here has been simpliﬁed in reality, obtaining an isotopic date is time-consuming and expensive and requires complex calculations.
At high temperatures, atoms in a crystal lattice vibrate so rapidly that chemical bonds can break and reattach relatively easily.
Although there are many different pairs of parent and daughter isotopes among the known radioactive elements, only a few have long enough half-lives, and occur in sufﬁcient abundance in minerals, to be useful for isotopic dating. Second, we must identify the right kind of minerals to work with.
Not all minerals contain radioactive elements, but fortunately some fairly common minerals do.
Radioactive decay can take place by a variety of reactions that change the atomic number of the nucleus and thus form a different element.