Absolute dating techniques notes

When the organism dies, the supply stops, and the carbon-14 contained in the organism begins to spontaneously decay into nitrogen-14.The time it takes for one-half of the carbon-14 to decay (a period called a half-life) is 5,730 years.Since certain species of animals existed on Earth at specific times in history, the fossils or remains of such animals embedded within those successive layers of rock also help scientists determine the age of the layers.Similarly, pollen grains released by seed-bearing plants became fossilized in rock layers.With sensitive instrumentation, this range can be extended to 70,000 years.In addition to the radiocarbon dating technique, scientists have developed other dating methods based on the transformation of one element into another.Eventually, the entire ecosystem (community of plants and animals) of the planet, including humans, is filled with a concentration of carbon-14.

Carbon-14, a radioactive form of the element carbon, is created in the atmosphere by cosmic rays (invisible, high-energy particles that constantly bombard Earth from all directions in space).Narrow rings grow in cold or dry years, and wide rings grow in warm or wet years.The rings form a distinctive pattern, which is the same for all members in a given species and geographical area.Absolute dates must agree with dates from other relative methods in order to be valid.The most widely used and accepted form of absolute dating is radioactive decay dating. Radioactive decay refers to the process in which a radioactive form of an element is converted into a nonradioactive product at a regular rate.

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The older the pottery, the brighter the light that will be emitted.

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