Videos radiometric dating

Scientist Britt Argow talks with teacher Joe Reilly about how scientists can determine the approximate age of a rock: comparing the relative abundance of naturally-occurring radioactive elements to their decay products.

What’s driving the demand for millions of years dating; is it science or is it theory?Unlike people, you can’t really guess the age of a rock from looking at it.Yet, you’ve heard the news: Earth is 4.6 billion years old. That corn cob found in an ancient Native American fire pit is 1,000 years old. Geologic age dating—assigning an age to materials—is an entire discipline of its own.Relative age dating also means paying attention to crosscutting relationships.Say for example that a volcanic dike, or a fault, cuts across several sedimentary layers, or maybe through another volcanic rock type.

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