Numerical age or relative dating education abiut dating

Potassium-40 on the other hand has a half like of 1.25 billion years and is common in rocks and minerals.This makes it ideal for dating much older rocks and fossils.These are the surfaces that we can get absolute ages for.For the others, one can only use relative age dating (such as counting craters) in order to estimate the age of the surface and the history of the surface.The Wheeler Formation has been previously dated to approximately 507 million year old, so we know the trilobite is also about 507 million years old.

It can only be used to date fossils younger than about 75,000 years.

We define the rate of this radioactive decay in half-lives.

If a radioactive isotope is said to have a half-life of 5,000 years that means after 5,000 years exactly half of it will have decayed from the parent isotope into the daughter isotopes.

Using relative dating the fossil is compared to something for which an age is already known.

For example if you have a fossil trilobite and it was found in the Wheeler Formation.

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