Does relative dating using radioactivity
But while the difficulties of single life may be intractable, the challenge of determining the age of prehistoric artifacts and fossils is greatly aided by measuring certain radioactive isotopes.Until this century, relative dating was the only technique for identifying the age of a truly ancient object.To do this we need to know the amount of radioactive material remaining in the object.Love-hungry teenagers and archaeologists agree: dating is hard.By examining the object's relation to layers of deposits in the area, and by comparing the object to others found at the site, archaeologists can estimate when the object arrived at the site.Though still heavily used, relative dating is now augmented by several modern dating techniques.
The site provides background information about stratigraphic principles and relative time, biostratigraphy (using fossils for relative dating), and radiometric dating.
Radiocarbon dating involves determining the age of an ancient fossil or specimen by measuring its carbon-14 content.
Carbon-14, or radiocarbon, is a naturally occurring radioactive isotope that forms when cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere strike nitrogen molecules, which then oxidize to become carbon dioxide.
Relative dating places events or rocks in their chronologic sequence or order of occurrence.
Absolute dating places events or rocks at a specific time.Carbon 14 occurs naturally, and is absorbed by all living things when we eat and drink.When we die, we no longer ingest C14, and it begins to decay and turn into N14.For this reason WE WILL NEVER CHOSE TO USE THIS ISOTOPE!