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4 types of absolute dating
Carbon-14 is continually being created in the atmosphere due to the action of cosmic rays on nitrogen in the air.
Carbon-14 combines with oxygen to create carbon dioxide.
So, if you know the radioactive isotope found in a substance and the isotope's half-life, you can calculate the age of the substance. Well, a simple explanation is that it is the time required for a quantity to fall to half of its starting value.
So, you might say that the 'full-life' of a radioactive isotope ends when it has given off all of its radiation and reaches a point of being non-radioactive.
For example, uranium-lead dating can be used to find the age of a uranium-containing mineral.