Types of dating in science


Optically stimulated luminescence: Similar to TL, optically stimulated luminescence measures when quartz crystals in certain kinds of rock last saw sunlight. But unlike radiocarbon dating, the older the sample, the more accurate the dating — researchers typically use these methods on finds at least , years old. User Contributions: 1. Types of dating in science [PUNIQRANDLINE-(au-dating-names.txt)

Sometimes, scientists already know the age of the fossil because fossils of the same species have been found elsewhere and it has been possible to establish accurately from those when the dinosaur lived.

Geologists call this the principle of lateral continuity. A fossil will always be younger than fossils in the beds beneath it and this is called the principle of superposition. In an undisturbed sequence of rocks, such as in a cliff face, it is easy to get a rough idea of the ages of the individual strata — the oldest lies at the bottom and the youngest lies at the top. This is because new sediments are always laid down on top of sediments that types of dating in science already been types of dating in science.

So, when looking at the history of a cliff face, it is important to read the story it tells from the bottom layer up. Absolutely Fabulous. Whenever possible, researchers use one or more absolute dating methods, which provide an age for the actual fossil or artifact.

Unlike observation-based relative dating, most absolute methods require some of mature women movies find to be destroyed by heat or other means.

Certain unstable isotopes of trace radioactive elements in both organic and inorganic materials decay into stable isotopes. This happens at known rates. By measuring the proportion of different isotopes present, researchers can figure out how old the material is.

Dating techniques

Here are some of the most common radiometric methods: Radiocarbon dating: Sometimes called carbon dating, this method works on organic material. Trapped Charge Dating.

Everything Worth Knowing About ... Scientific Dating Methods

Over time, certain kinds of rocks and organic material, such as coral and teeth, are very good at trapping electrons from sunlight and cosmic rays pummeling Earth. Researchers can measure the amount of these trapped electrons to establish an age. But to use any trapped charge method, experts first need to calculate the rate at which the electrons were trapped. This includes factoring in many variables, such as the amount of radiation the object was exposed to each year.

These techniques are accurate only for material ranging from a few thousand toyears old — some researchers argue the accuracy diminishes significantly afteryears. Geologists use radiocarbon to date such materials as wood and pollen trapped in sediment, which indicates the date of the sediment itself.

The table below shows characteristics of some common radiometric dating methods. Geologists choose a dating method that suits the materials available in their rocks. There are over 30 radiometric methods available. All radiometric dating methods measure isotopes in some way.


Most directly measure the amount of isotopes in rocks, using a mass spectrometer. Molecular clock. This method compares the amount of genetic difference between living organisms and computes an age based on well-tested rates of genetic mutation over time.

Radioactive 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. The nucleus of every radioactive element such as radium and uranium spontaneously disintegrates over time, transforming itself into the nucleus of an atom types of dating in science a different element.

In the process of disintegration, the atom gives off radiation energy emitted in the form of waves. Hence the term radioactive decay. Each element decays at its own rate, unaffected by external physical conditions. By measuring the amount of original and transformed atoms in an object, scientists can determine the age of that object.


Cosmic rays: Invisible, high-energy particles that constantly bombard Earth from all directions in space. Dendrochronology: Also known as tree-ring dating, the science concerned with determining the age of trees by examining their growth rings.

Relative Dating of Rock Layers

Half-life: Measurement of the time it takes for one-half of a radioactive substance to decay. Radioactive decay: The predictable manner in which a population of atoms of a radioactive element spontaneously disintegrate types of dating in science time. Stratigraphy: Study of layers of rocks or the objects embedded within those layers.

The age of the remains of plants, animals, and other organic material can be determined by measuring the amount of carbon contained in that material. Carbon, 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. When carbon falls to Earth, it is absorbed by plants. These plants are eaten by animals who, in turn, are eaten by even larger animals.

Types of dating in science [PUNIQRANDLINE-(au-dating-names.txt)