That only worked for sedimentary rocks, and only some of those.
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Radioactive elements were incorporated into the Earth when the Solar System formed.
All rocks and minerals contain tiny amounts of these radioactive elements.
So we knew about "deep time," but exploring it was frustrating.
For more than a hundred years the best method of arranging its history was the use of fossils or biostratigraphy.
Free 5-day trial Radiometric dating is used to estimate the age of rocks and other objects based on the fixed decay rate of radioactive isotopes.
Learn about half-life and how it is used in different dating methods, such as uranium-lead dating and radiocarbon dating, in this video lesson. As we age, our hair turns gray, our skin wrinkles and our gait slows.
Radiocarbon dating is one kind of radiometric dating, used for determining the age of organic remains that are less than 50,000 years old.
For inorganic matter and for older materials, isotopes of other elements, such as potassium, uranium, and strontium, are used.
Carbon-14 is a method used for young (less than 50,000 year old) sedimentary rocks.
This method relies on the uptake of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope of carbon, carbon-14 by all living things.
those that form during chemical reactions without breaking down).