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Then after another 5,000 years half of the remaining parent isotope will have decayed.
While people are most familiar with carbon dating, carbon dating is rarely applicable to fossils.
Relative dating helps determine what came first and what followed, but doesn't help determine actual age.
Radiometric dating, or numeric dating, determines an actual or approximate age of an object by studying the rate of decay of radioactive isotopes, such as uranium, potassium, rubidium and carbon-14 within that object. This rate provides scientists with an accurate measurement system to determine age.
Scientists can use certain types of fossils referred to as index fossils to assist in relative dating via correlation.
Index fossils are fossils that are known to only occur within a very specific age range.
Dating is a technique used in archeology to ascertain the age of artifacts, fossils and other items considered to be valuable by archeologists.
We define the rate of this radioactive decay in half-lives.
If a radioactive isotope is said to have a half-life of 5,000 years that means after 5,000 years exactly half of it will have decayed from the parent isotope into the daughter isotopes.
Continue Reading Relative dating observes the placement of fossils and rock in layers known as strata.
Basically, fossils and rock found in lower strata are older than those found in higher strata because lower objects must have been deposited first, while higher objects were deposited last.