Absolute dating animation

Potassium-argon (K-Ar) dating

How does Radioactive Decay Happen?

This interactive asks you to choose the best absolute dating method for each layer of rock in a cliff. Your choice will depend on the material. Understand how decay and half life work to enable radiometric dating. Play a game that tests your ability to match the percentage of the dating element that.

This allowed for the establishment of world-wide chronologies. Where does C Come From? Radiocarbon dating relies on a simple natural phenomenon.

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As the Earth's upper atmosphere is bombarded by cosmic radiation, atmospheric nitrogen is broken down into an unstable isotope of carbon - carbon 14 C The unstable isotope is brought to Earth by atmospheric activity, such as storms, and becomes fixed in the biosphere. Because it reacts identically to C and C, C becomes attached to complex organic molecules through photosynthesis in plants and becomes part of their molecular makeup.

Animals eating those plants in turn absorb Carbon as well as the stable isotopes.

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This process of ingesting C continues as long as the plant or animal remains alive. C Decay Profile The C within an organism is continually decaying into stable carbon isotopes, but since the organism is absorbing more C during its life, the ratio of C to C remains about the same as the ratio in the atmosphere.

Radiometric or Absolute Rock Dating

When the organism dies, the ratio of C within its carcass begins to gradually decrease. That is the half-life of C The animation provides an example of how this logarithmic decay occurs.

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