Radioactive dating lesson


10-Nov-2017 23:47

Fossils are generally found in sedimentary rock — not igneous rock.

Sedimentary rocks can be dated using radioactive carbon, but because carbon decays relatively quickly, this only works for rocks younger than about 50 thousand years.

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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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To determine the relative age of different rocks, geologists start with the assumption that unless something has happened, in a sequence of sedimentary rock layers, the newer rock layers will be on top of older ones. This rule is common sense, but it serves as a powerful reference point.Or, just print the graph for all pupils to use independently....Unlike people, you can’t really guess the age of a rock from looking at it. Scientists look at multiple sources for evidence that a species has evolved overtime. You can use M & M"s to simulate how radioactive decay actually works.

They use a technique called radiometric dating to determine the absolute age of a fossil.

So in order to date most older fossils, scientists look for layers of igneous rock or volcanic ash above and below the fossil.



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