Dating organic material

Absolute dates must agree with dates from other relative methods in order to be valid.The most widely used and accepted form of absolute dating is radioactive decay dating. Radioactive decay refers to the process in which a radioactive form of an element is converted into a nonradioactive product at a regular rate.

The successive layers of rock represent successive intervals of time.These include the uranium-thorium method, the potassium-argon method, and the rubidium-strontium method. Thermoluminescence (pronounced ther-moeloo-mi-NES-ence) dating is very useful for determining the age of pottery.When a piece of pottery is heated in a laboratory at temperatures more than 930°F (500°C), electrons from quartz and other minerals in the pottery clay emit light.By measuring the amount of carbon-14 remaining, scientists can pinpoint the exact date of the organism's death.The range of conventional radiocarbon dating is 30,000 to 40,000 years.

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