Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.Free 5-day trial Radiometric dating is used to estimate the age of rocks and other objects based on the fixed decay rate of radioactive isotopes.Play a game that tests your ability to match the percentage of the dating element that remains to the age of the object.
If conclusive evidence hadn’t turned up, it was only because nobody had really bothered to look for it.
In France alone there must be three hundred well-excavated sites dating from the period we call the Middle Paleolithic, Brooks says.
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.
Four years ago archeologists Alison Brooks and John Yellen discovered what might be the earliest traces of modern human culture in the world. Thirty yards below, the Semliki River runs so clear and cool the submerged hippos look like giant lumps of jade.
Different methods of radiometric dating can be used to estimate the age of a variety of natural and even man-made materials.
The methods work because radioactive elements are unstable, and they are always trying to move to a more stable state. This process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by releasing radiation is called radioactive decay.
Eventually two more whole points and fragments of five others turned up, all of them elaborately barbed and polished.
When an American chemist discovered a century ago that radioactive uranium in rock formations decayed into lead, he gave scientists a tool they’ve been using ever since.
You've heard about people seeing their lives flash before their eyes.
In this interactive, it's an isotope's half-life you watch speed past.
Their discovery came on a sun-soaked hillside called Katanda, in a remote corner of Zaire near the Ugandan border.