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Frequently Asked Questions
What does radioactive dating mean? noun. any method of determining the age of earth materials or objects of organic origin based on measurement of either short-lived radioactive elements or the amount of a long-lived radioactive element plus its decay product.What happens during radioactive dating?
Radiometric dating (often called radioactive dating) is a technique used to date materials such as rocks or carbon, usually based on a comparison between the observed abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope and its decay products, using known decay rates.What can scientists determine using radioactive dating?
Scientists determine the ages of once-living things by measuring the amount of carbon-14 in the material. For biological objects older than 50,000 years, scientists use radioactive dating to determine the age of rocks surrounding where the material was found. By dating rocks, scientists can approximate ages of very old fossils, bones and teeth.How accurate is radioactive dating?
Yes, radiometric dating is a very accurate way to date the Earth. We know it is accurate because radiometric dating is based on the radioactive decay of unstable isotopes. We call the original, unstable isotope (Uranium) the "parent", and the product of decay (Lead) the "daughter". Click to see full answer.