Radioactive decay and absolute dating

Here is an easy-to understand analogy for your students: relative age dating is like saying that your grandfather is older than you.

Absolute age dating is like saying you are 15 years old and your grandfather is 77 years old.

Perhaps the most widely used evidence for the Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection is the fossil record.

The fossil record may be incomplete and may never fully completed, but there are still many clues to evolution and how it happens within the fossil record.

He calculated the modern rate of salt delivery to the oceans, and suggested that the present salinity of ocean water would take at least 100 million years to develop.

There are two basic approaches: relative age dating, and absolute age dating.Using relative dating the fossil is compared to something for which an age is already known.For example if you have a fossil trilobite and it was found in the Wheeler Formation.As radioactive isotopes of elements decay, they lose their radioactivity and become a brand new element known as a daughter isotope.By measuring the ratio of the amount of the original radioactive element to the daughter isotope, scientists can determine how many half-lives the element has undergone and from there can figure out the absolute age of the sample.Relative age dating also means paying attention to crosscutting relationships.


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