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The original radioactive atom is known as a parent isotope, while the atom produced by the decay process is known as a daughter isotope. For example Uranium-235 and Uranium-238 are both Uranium atoms with the same number of protons, but they have a different number of neutrons.

The number used to identify the isotope refers to the total number of particles in the nucleus of each atom.

Thorium-234 is the next radioactive substance in the decay process of Uranium-238.Once the rock cools and solidifies, Argon that is formed by radioactive decay is trapped inside.As no Argon was present in the rock when it first solidified, all Argon in the rock is due to the radioactive decay of Potassium. The age of a rock can be calculated if its ratio of uranium to lead is known. This is unstable and eventually decays to lead, which is stable.

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