How does radioactive dating help determine the age of fossils

Love-hungry teenagers and archaeologists agree: dating is hard.

how does radioactive dating help determine the age of fossils-89

Though still heavily used, relative dating is now augmented by several modern dating techniques.

Radiocarbon dating involves determining the age of an ancient fossil or specimen by measuring its carbon-14 content.

Scientists calculate ages by measuring how much of the isotope remains in the substance.

Continue Reading The key to an age of a substance is the decay-product ratio.

Radiometric dating, or radioactive dating as it is sometimes called, is a method used to date rocks and other objects based on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes.

Different methods of radiometric dating can be used to estimate the age of a variety of natural and even man-made materials.

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.

Carbon-14 is also passed onto the animals that eat those plants.

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