Radiometric dating is used to tell the age of rocks what is postdating a check mean
Try It risk-free Learn how scientists determine the ages of rocks and fossils.
We'll explore both relative and numerical dating on our quest to understand the process of geological dating.
One of the biggest jobs of a geologist is establishing the absolute age, in years, of a rock or fossil.
Unlike relative dating, which only tells us the age of rock A compared to rock B, numerical dating tells us the age of rock A in x number of years.
In 1896, a French physicist named Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity in an element called uranium.
He saw that it underwent radioactive decay, or emission of energetic particles to produce new elements.
In 1905, Ernest Rutherford figured out that we could use radiation to establish the ages of rocks.
By studying how the mass of uranium changed with radioactive decay, Rutherford was able to determine the age of a rock containing a uranium mineral. It meant that scientists could suddenly establish the actual ages of all their rocks and fossils!
Relative dating cannot tell us the actual age of a rock; it can only tell us whether one rock is older or younger than another.Recently, he appeared on the evening news to talk about a new dinosaur he just discovered. Paul says he can tell from the fossils that superus awesomus lived on Earth about 175 million years ago.Paul is super awesome, so I'm going to take him at his word.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 70,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.
If I told you that I was 30 years old, that number would be my numerical age.