Radiometric dating stuff works

08-Jan-2017 13:40

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.

Carbon-14, or radiocarbon, is a naturally occurring radioactive isotope that forms when cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere strike nitrogen molecules, which then oxidize to become carbon dioxide.

Green plants absorb the carbon dioxide, so the population of carbon-14 molecules is continually replenished until the plant dies.

When it comes to dating archaeological samples, several timescale problems arise.

For example, Christian time counts the birth of Christ as the beginning, AD 1 (Anno Domini); everything that occurred before Christ is counted backwards from AD as BC (Before Christ).

Carbon-14 cannot be used to date biological artifacts of organisms that did not get their carbon dioxide from the air.

This rules out carbon dating for most aquatic organisms, because they often obtain at least some of their carbon from dissolved carbonate rock.

Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.In a stratigraphical context objects closer to the surface are more recent in time relative to items deeper in the ground.Although relative dating can work well in certain areas, several problems arise.Carbon dating is used to determine the age of biological artifacts up to 50,000 years old.

This technique is widely used on recent artifacts, but educators and students alike should note that this technique will not work on older fossils (like those of the dinosaurs alleged to be millions of years old).Free 5-day trial Radiometric dating is used to estimate the age of rocks and other objects based on the fixed decay rate of radioactive isotopes.

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