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Radioactive carbon dating video

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.

So if you know the radioactive isotope found in a substance and the isotope's half-life, you can calculate the age of the substance. Well, a simple explanation is that it is the time required for a quantity to fall to half of its starting value.Learn about half-life and how it is used in different dating methods, such as uranium-lead dating and radiocarbon dating, in this video lesson. As we age, our hair turns gray, our skin wrinkles and our gait slows.However, rocks and other objects in nature do not give off such obvious clues about how long they have been around.So we rely on radiometric dating to calculate their ages.Radiometric dating, or radioactive dating as it is sometimes called, is a method used to date rocks and other objects based on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes.So you might say that the 'full-life' of a radioactive isotope ends when it has given off all of its radiation and reaches a point of being non-radioactive.

When the isotope is halfway to that point it has reached its half-life.

There are different methods of radiometric dating that will vary due to the type of material that is being dated.

How do scientists determine the age of fossils that have been under the surface of the earth for thousands of years?

Scientific American Editor Michael Moyer explains the process of radiocarbon dating.

The winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, occurs on Dec. This occurs as a result of the Earth’s axis of rotation being tilted in relation to its orbit around the sun.

Radiometric dating is used to estimate the age of rocks and other objects based on the fixed decay rate of radioactive isotopes.

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