best selling dating book - Radiocarbon dating organic

Absolute dates must agree with dates from other relative methods in order to be valid.The most widely used and accepted form of absolute dating is radioactive decay dating. Radioactive decay refers to the process in which a radioactive form of an element is converted into a nonradioactive product at a regular rate.

When the organism dies, the supply stops, and the carbon-14 contained in the organism begins to spontaneously decay into nitrogen-14.

The time it takes for one-half of the carbon-14 to decay (a period called a half-life) is 5,730 years.

With sensitive instrumentation, this range can be extended to 70,000 years.

In addition to the radiocarbon dating technique, scientists have developed other dating methods based on the transformation of one element into another.

If a certain kind of pollen is found in an archaeological site, scientists can check when the plant that produced that pollen lived to determine the relative age of the site.

Absolute dating methods are carried out in a laboratory.

Narrow rings grow in cold or dry years, and wide rings grow in warm or wet years.

The rings form a distinctive pattern, which is the same for all members in a given species and geographical area.

Dendrochronology: Also known as tree-ring dating, the science concerned with determining the age of trees by examining their growth rings.

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