Define radiometric age dating

28 Apr

One way that helps scientists place fossils into the correct era on the Geologic Time Scale is by using radiometric dating.

Also called absolute dating, scientists use the decay of radioactive elements within the fossils or the rocks around the fossils to determine the age of the organism that was preserved.

Perhaps the most widely used evidence for the Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection is the fossil record.

The fossil record may be incomplete and may never fully completed, but there are still many clues to evolution and how it happens within the fossil record.

This technique relies on the property of half-life.

Different isotopes have different half-lives and sometimes more than one present isotope can be used to get an even more specific age of a fossil.

Geologists often need to know the age of material that they find.

They use absolute dating methods, sometimes called numerical dating, to give rocks an actual date, or date range, in number of years.

Wiens has a Ph D in Physics, with a minor in Geology.

His Ph D thesis was on isotope ratios in meteorites, including surface exposure dating.