Carbon dating isotope dating management representation letter
There are two main methods determining a fossils age, relative dating and absolute dating.
Relative dating is used to determine a fossils approximate age by comparing it to similar rocks and fossils of known ages.
Carbon-14, or radiocarbon, is a naturally occurring radioactive isotope that forms when cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere strike nitrogen molecules, which then oxidize to become carbon dioxide.
By examining the object's relation to layers of deposits in the area, and by comparing the object to others found at the site, archaeologists can estimate when the object arrived at the site.Carbon-14 is also passed onto the animals that eat those plants.After death the amount of carbon-14 in the organic specimen decreases very regularly as the molecules decay.Scientists can use certain types of fossils referred to as index fossils to assist in relative dating via correlation.Index fossils are fossils that are known to only occur within a very specific age range.
Using relative dating the fossil is compared to something for which an age is already known.