Carbon dating for dummies

04-Apr-2017 22:30

Radiometric dating--the process of determining the age of rocks from the decay of their radioactive elements--has been in widespread use for over half a century.

There are over forty such techniques, each using a different radioactive element or a different way of measuring them.

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Some of the atoms may decay right away, while others will not decay for many thousands more years.

Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a fossil by using radiometric dating to measure the decay of isotopes, either within the fossil or more often the rocks associated with it.

The majority of the time fossils are dated using relative dating techniques.

Using relative dating the fossil is compared to something for which an age is already known.

For example if you have a fossil trilobite and it was found in the Wheeler Formation.

Some of the atoms may decay right away, while others will not decay for many thousands more years.Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a fossil by using radiometric dating to measure the decay of isotopes, either within the fossil or more often the rocks associated with it.The majority of the time fossils are dated using relative dating techniques.Using relative dating the fossil is compared to something for which an age is already known.For example if you have a fossil trilobite and it was found in the Wheeler Formation.Each original isotope, called the parent, gradually decays to form a new isotope, called the daughter.