Start Determine age fossils carbon dating

Determine age fossils carbon dating

and is now the principal source of information about the absolute age of rocks and other geological features, including the age of fossilized life forms or the age of the Earth itself, and can also be used to date a wide range of natural and man-made materials.

In these cases, usually the half-life of interest in radiometric dating is the longest one in the chain, which is the rate-limiting factor in the ultimate transformation of the radioactive nuclide into its stable daughter.

Isotopic systems that have been exploited for radiometric dating have half-lives ranging from only about 10 years (e.g., tritium) to over 100 billion years (e.g., Samarium-147).

The precision of a dating method depends in part on the half-life of the radioactive isotope involved.

Different methods of radiometric dating vary in the timescale over which they are accurate and the materials to which they can be applied.

These temperatures are experimentally determined in the lab by artificially resetting sample minerals using a high-temperature furnace.

As the mineral cools, the crystal structure begins to form and diffusion of isotopes is less easy.

Among the best-known techniques are radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating and uranium-lead dating.