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How does radioactive dating help determine the age of fossils

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The passage of time can be measured in many ways. For humans, the steady movement of the hands on a clock marks off the seconds and the hours. In nature, the constant decay of radioactive isotopes records the march of years. Scientists can use the clocklike behavior of these isotopes to determine the age of rocks, fossils, and even some long-lived organisms.
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How do scientists determine the age of fossils?

How does radioactive dating help determine the age of fossils
How does radioactive dating help determine the age of fossils
How does radioactive dating help determine the age of fossils
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How do scientists figure out how old things are? | Live Science

A number of methods are used today to date fossils. Most of the methods are indirect meaning that the age of the soil or rock in which the fossils are found are dated, not the fossils themselves. The most common way to ascertain the age of a fossil is by determining where it is found in rock layers. In many cases, the age of the rock can be determined by other fossils within that rock.
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Radiometric Age Dating

Many rocks and organisms contain radioactive isotopes, such as U and C These radioactive isotopes are unstable, decaying over time at a predictable rate. As the isotopes decay, they give off particles from their nucleus and become a different isotope. The parent isotope is the original unstable isotope, and daughter isotopes are the stable product of the decay. Half-life is the amount of time it takes for half of the parent isotopes to decay.
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Click to see full answer. Subsequently, one may also ask, how does radiometric dating determine the age of fossils? Radiometric dating. Geologists use radiometric dating to estimate how long ago rocks formed, and to infer the ages of fossils contained within those rocks. When molten rock cools, forming what are called igneous rocks, radioactive atoms are trapped inside.
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