Radioactive dating activity middle school

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If a rock has been partially melted, or otherwise metamorphosed, that causes complications for radiometric (absolute) age dating as well.

Like the other kind of dating, geologic dating isn’t always simple.

After all, a dinosaur wouldn’t be caught dead next to a trilobite.

The narrower a range of time that an animal lived, the better it is as an index of a specific time.

Here is an easy-to understand analogy for your students: relative age dating is like saying that your grandfather is older than you.

You might have noticed that many of the oldest age dates come from a mineral called zircon.

That’s because zircon is super tough – it resists weathering. Each radioactive isotope works best for particular applications.

The half-life of carbon 14, for example, is 5,730 years.

On the other hand, the half-life of the isotope potassium 40 as it decays to argon is 1.26 billion years.

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