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These neutrons can become unstable, and when they do, they release energy and undergo decay. Radioactivity occurs when the nucleus contains an excess amount of neutrons.

By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that all matter is made up of atoms, which are far too small to see directly through a microscope.Because these rates do not change and because the radiation that rocks give off can be measured, it became possible to calculate the time the rock was formed or, in other words, the rock's birth date - give or take a few thousand years or so.Radiometric dating is sometimes referred to as radioactive dating.Technology is essential to science, because it provides instruments and techniques that enable observations of objects and phenomena that are otherwise unobservable due to factors such as quantity, distance, location, size, and speed.Technology also provides tools for investigations, inquiry, and analysis.

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