So, Carbon-14 can only measure things up to just over 50,000 years old, great for determining when someone built a wood fire, but not good for determining the age of a meteorite. It occurs whenever an atom has an unbalanced number of protons and neutrons in its nucleus.
3 radioactive elements in absolute dating
Example: A young-Earth research group reported that they sent a rock erupted in 1980 from Mount Saint Helens volcano to a dating lab and got back a potassium-argon age of several million years.
This shows we should not trust radiometric dating, right? The potassium-argon method, with its long half-life of 1.3 billion years, should not be used to date rocks that are only 25 years old.
It is impossible to predict when a given atom will decay, but given a large number of similar atoms, the decay rate on average is predictable.
This predictable decay is called the half-life of the parent atom, the time it takes for one half of all of the parent atoms to transform into the daughter.
The biggest assumption is that, to first order, the number of asteroids and comets hitting the Earth and the Moon was the same as for Mercury, Venus, and Mars. The bottom line is that the more craters one sees, the older the surface is.
This can be interpreted in two ways: why it is important to know the age of a planet or how is age dating important in determining the age of a planet?
While not a chemical test, the presence of carbon in a sample (like a meteorite) can be found by vaporizing the sample and passing it through a mass spectrometer.
This is also a way to get at the abundance of the various isotopes of carbon.
We have rocks from the Moon (brought back), meteorites, and rocks that we know came from Mars.