Here is an easy-to understand analogy for your students: relative age dating is like saying that your grandfather is older than you.
Absolute age dating is like saying you are 15 years old and your grandfather is 77 years old.
On the other hand, the half-life of the isotope potassium 40 as it decays to argon is 1.26 billion years.
Read the pages listed below, which are available online through Library Reserves.
Electronic course reserves, or "e-Reserves," are articles and book chapters that are available online through the University Libraries.
Look for “absolute” ages such as cornerstones, dates carved into fresh concrete, or dates stamped on manhole covers.
Absolute age dating: Have students work alone or in pairs to find an article or paper that uses radiometric age dating.
The discovery of radioactivity and its application to dating rocks is perhaps one of the greatest scientific achievements affecting the Earth Sciences.
With the discovery of radioactive isotopes more then one hundred years ago, scientists quickly realized that the radioactive decay of materials found in rocks could be used to date the rocks and consequently change the "relative" geologic time scale into an "absolute" time scale.Chart of a few different isotope half lifes: In reality, geologists tend to mix and match relative and absolute age dates to piece together a geologic history.If a rock has been partially melted, or otherwise metamorphosed, that causes complications for radiometric (absolute) age dating as well.The narrower a range of time that an animal lived, the better it is as an index of a specific time.No bones about it, fossils are important age markers.Relative age dating also means paying attention to crosscutting relationships.