Problems with radiometric and carbon 14 dating

Other factors and basic assumptions must also be considered.

Of course, Kelvin formed his estimates of the age of the Sun without the knowledge of fusion as the true energy source of the Sun.

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.

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.

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As one answer to his critics, Kelvin produced a completely independent estimate -- this time for the age of the Sun.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. Climate records from a Japanese lake are set to improve the accuracy of the dating technique, which could help to shed light on archaeological mysteries such as why Neanderthals became extinct.Carbon dating is used to work out the age of organic material — in effect, any living thing.

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