Short definition of radiometric dating

And this would also include things like trees and plants, which give us paper and cloth.So, radiocarbon dating is also useful for determining the age of relics, such the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Shroud of Turin.So, we start out with two isotopes of uranium that are unstable and radioactive.They release radiation until they eventually become stable isotopes of lead.These differing rates of decay help make uranium-lead dating one of the most reliable methods of radiometric dating because they provide two different decay clocks.This provides a built-in cross-check to more accurately determine the age of the sample.With radiocarbon dating, the amount of the radioactive isotope carbon-14 is measured.Compared to some of the other radioactive isotopes we have discussed, carbon-14's half-life of 5,730 years is considerably shorter, as it decays into nitrogen-14.

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The thing that makes this decay process so valuable for determining the age of an object is that each radioactive isotope decays at its own fixed rate, which is expressed in terms of its half-life.

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Radiocarbon dating, also known as carbon-14 dating or simply carbon dating, is a method used to determine the age of organic material by measuring the radioactivity of its carbon content.

So, radiocarbon dating can be used to find the age of things that were once alive, like the Iceman.

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