As lead isotope decay at a standard and slow rate, it's able to provide fairly accurate date ranges which it measures in the millions of years.For further details, see uranium-lead dating section below.Luminescence/Thermoluminescence: This measures the amount of light emitted from energy stored in rocks.Geological materials store energy from the sun at a constant and known rate.Amino acid dating: This relatively new form of absolute dating is useful in archaeology, anthropology, paleobiology, molecular biology and anything else that may study organic substances to pinpoint an actual date or define a date range.
No system is completely failsafe and no method completely correct, but with the right application, they can and have aided researchers piece together the past and solve some of their discipline's most complex problems.
Both methods are vital to piecing together events of the past from the recent back to a time before humans and even before complex life and sometimes, researchers will combine both methods to come up with a date.
Some of the methods covered here are tried and tested, representing early methods of examining past geological, geographical, anthropological and archaeological processes.
All dating methods today can be grouped into one of two categories: .
The former gives a numeric age (for example, this artefact is 5000 years old); the latter provides a date based on relationships to other elements (for example, this geological layer formed before this other one).