Radiometric dating has provided not only a means of numerically quantifying geologic time but also a tool for determining the...
By establishing geological timescales, radiometric dating provides a significant source of information about the ages of fossils and rates of evolutionary change, and it is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts.
I have tried here to answer some of the frequently asked questions that I receive from students via email, as well as providing some basic information about scientific dating methods.
The best-known radiometric dating techniques include radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating, and uranium-lead dating.
Scientific knowledge of Earth’s geologic history has advanced significantly since the development of radiometric dating, a method of age determination based on the principle that radioactive atoms in geologic materials decay at constant, known rates to daughter atoms.
The different methods of radiometric dating are accurate over different timescales, and they are useful for different materials.
The age of the carbon in the rock is different from that of the carbon in the air and makes carbon dating data for those organisms inaccurate under the assumptions normally used for carbon dating.