What is radioactive dating used for
However, the crater number relation must be calibrated against something with a known age.
To measure the passage of long periods of time, scientists take advantage of a regularity in certain unstable atoms.
Radiometric dating--the process of determining the age of rocks from the decay of their radioactive elements--has been in widespread use for over half a century.
There are over forty such techniques, each using a different radioactive element or a different way of measuring them.
Carbon dating is used to determine the age of biological artifacts up to 50,000 years old.
This technique is widely used on recent artifacts, but educators and students alike should note that this technique will not work on older fossils (like those of the dinosaurs alleged to be millions of years old).
He was employed at Caltech's Division of Geological & Planetary Sciences at the time of writing the first edition.