Radiometric dating means jim lange the dating game

Just as in the example with uranium, scientists are able to determine the age of a sample by using the ratios of the daughter product compared to the parent.Also, when dating with carbon-14, scientists compare the amount of carbon-14 to carbon-12.Since all living things contain carbon, carbon-14 is a common radioisotope used primarily to date items that were once living.

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The half-life is reliable in dating artifacts because it's not affected by environmental or chemical factors; it does not change.Radioactive dating enables geologists to record the history of the earth and its events, such as the dinosaur era, within what they call the geologic time scale.Radioactive dating uses the ratios of isotopes and their specific decay products to determine the ages of rocks, fossils, and other substances.Elements occur naturally in the earth, and they can tell us a lot about its past.Carbon, uranium, and potassium are just a few examples of elements used in radioactive dating.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 70,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.When scientists find a sample, they measure the amount of the original, or parent, isotope and compare it to the amount of the decay product formed.They then count the number of half-lives passed and compute the absolute age of the sample.Absolute age is just a fancy way of saying definitive or specific age as opposed to the relative age, which only refers to how old or young a substance is in comparison to something else.To illustrate, let's use the isotope uranium-238, which has a half-life of 4.5 billion years.

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