Radiometric dating of dinosaur fossils

But the basic concept of radioactive dating, sometimes called radiometric dating, is not difficult, especially since all of us regularly calculate how much time has passed: for example, since our birth, or since we started on a walk.A swimming race is a familiar situation that illustrates the simple principles involved in measuring time.It's accuracy has been verified by using C-14 to date artifacts whose age is known historically.The fluctuation of the amount of C-14 in the atmosphere over time adds a small uncertainty, but contamination by "modern carbon" such as decayed organic matter from soils poses a greater possibility for error. Thomas Seiler, a physicist from Germany, gave the presentation in Singapore.

And that is what geologists do—they make up an assumed geological history for rock depending on the numbers that come from the geochronology lab that measures the isotopes in the rocks now.When I have asked an audience this question they have looked at me incredulously and said, “Starting time?” They realize that you cannot know how long the swimmer took unless you knew the time on the wristwatch when the race started.Once we understand what we actually need to do we can apply the same principles to radioactive dating, and see if the methods do what they are claimed to do.Picture a swimmer competing in a 1,500 metre race and an observer with an accurate wristwatch.

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