Define radioactive dating of fossils
As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 79,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.The amount of the isotope in the object is compared to the amount of the isotope's decay products.The object's approximate age can then be figured out using the known rate of decay of the isotope.Radioactive dating enables geologists to record the history of the earth and its events, such as the dinosaur era, within what they call the geologic time scale.
The isotope doesn't actually deteriorate; it just changes into something else.
Remember, isotopes are variations of elements with a different number of neutrons.
The half-life is reliable in dating artifacts because it's not affected by environmental or chemical factors; it does not change.
Relative dating uses observation of location within rock layers, while radiometric dating uses data from the decay of radioactive substances within an object.
Relative dating observes the placement of fossils and rock in layers known as strata.
These neutrons can become unstable, and when they do, they release energy and undergo decay. Radioactivity occurs when the nucleus contains an excess amount of neutrons.