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All radiometric dating methods measure isotopes in some way.

Most directly measure the amount of isotopes in rocks, using a mass spectrometer.

By combining multiple geochronological (and biostratigraphic) indicators the precision of the recovered age can be improved.

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Biostratigraphy does not directly provide an absolute age determination of a rock, but merely places it within an interval of time at which that fossil assemblage is known to have coexisted.

Both disciplines work together hand in hand however, to the point where they share the same system of naming rock layers and the time spans utilized to classify layers within a stratum.

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.

These break down over time in a process scientists call radioactive decay.

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