By allowing the establishment of geological timescales, it provides a significant source of information about the ages of fossils and the deduced rates of evolutionary change.Radiometric dating is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts.If a radioactive isotope is said to have a half-life of 5,000 years that means after 5,000 years exactly half of it will have decayed from the parent isotope into the daughter isotopes.Then after another 5,000 years half of the remaining parent isotope will have decayed.The majority of the time fossils are dated using relative dating techniques.
All ordinary matter is made up of combinations of chemical elements, each with its own atomic number, indicating the number of protons in the atomic nucleus.
Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a rock or fossil through radiometric dating methods.
This uses radioactive minerals that occur in rocks and fossils almost like a geological clock.
While people are most familiar with carbon dating, carbon dating is rarely applicable to fossils.
Carbon-14, the radioactive isotope of carbon used in carbon dating has a half-life of 5730 years, so it decays too fast.
The atoms in some chemical elements have different forms, called isotopes.