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This is different to relative dating, which only puts geological events in time Most absolute dates for rocks are obtained with radiometric methods.
Because of their unique decay rates, different elements are used for dating different age ranges.Each original isotope, called the parent, gradually decays to form a new isotope, called the daughter.Each isotope is identified with what is called a ‘mass number’.For example, fission track dating measures the microscopic marks left in crystals by subatomic particles from decaying isotopes.
Another example is luminescence dating, which measures the energy from radioactive decay that is trapped inside nearby crystals.
Volcanic ash Samples collected from strata in Olduvai Gorge, East Africa, which sandwich the fossil remains of Zinjanthropus and Homo habilis -- possible precursors of modern man.