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Two methods of dating rocks

Thus, if we start out with 1 gram of the parent isotope, after the passage of 1 half-life there will be 0.5 gram of the parent isotope left.

After the passage of two half-lives only 0.25 gram will remain, and after 3 half lives only 0.125 will remain etc.

Fossils are rare; it takes very specific conditions for an organism to be preserved as a fossil.

Scientists use two different methods for determining the age of a fossil: absolute dating and relative dating.

Fossils are the remains of plants and animals that have been preserved in rocks.

Geologists have found fossils that are only a few thousand years old and others that are more than 600 million years old.

The half-life is the amount of time it takes for one half of the initial amount of the parent, radioactive isotope, to decay to the daughter isotope.Each rock layer was originally horizontal and was continuous across the Earth's surface.Essentially, by looking at fossils in a rock column, geologists are able to determine which fossils are geologically older than others.Carbon-14 is quite useful in dating artifacts, however.Relative dating is based on the laws of stratigraphy.

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