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We could be sure that a mineral containing parentium originally had no daughterium.
If the mineral contained 1 part per million Parentium-123 and 3 parts per million Daughterium-123, we could be sure all the Daughterium-123 was originally Parentium-123.
Atomic number of an atom = number of protons in the nucleus of that atom. The mass number may vary for an element, because of a differing number of neutrons. Radioactive decay occurs by releasing particles and energy.
It is one of the simplest examples of a differential equation.To date a radioactive rock, geologists first measure the “sand grains” in the top glass bowl (the parent radioisotope, such as uranium-238 or potassium-40).They also measure the sand grains in the bottom bowl (the daughter isotope, such as lead-206 or argon-40, respectively).The parent element undergoes radioactive decay to form a daughter element.In the example above, uranium is the parent element, and lead is the daughter element.