What is radiometric dating and how is it used

Posted by / 29-Jun-2020 07:54

What is radiometric dating and how is it used

Depending on what is being dated (what it is composed of, where it resides) some methods will be more effective than others.

On this page, you will find descriptions of several of the most popular and useful methods that exist today.

For example the half-life of uranium is 4.5 billion years. Radiometric dating (often called radioactive dating) is a technique used to date materials, usually based on a comparison between the observed abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope and its decay products, using known decay rates.

In radiometric dating, the amount of a certain radioactive isotope in an object is compared with a reference amount.

By dating these surrounding layers, they can figure out the youngest and oldest that the fossil might be; this is known as "bracketing" the age of the sedimentary layer in which the fossils occur.

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While the overall method of Radiometric Dating is the same through each type, the specific isotopes that are used changes.