Radiometric dating lab
Teach your students about absolute dating: Determining age of rocks and fossils, a classroom activity for grades 9-12.
Find additional lessons, activities, videos, and articles that focus on relative and absolute dating.
Radioactive atoms are inherently unstable; over time, radioactive "parent atoms" decay into stable "daughter atoms." When molten rock cools, forming what are called igneous rocks, radioactive atoms are trapped inside. By measuring the quantity of unstable atoms left in a rock and comparing it to the quantity of stable daughter atoms in the rock, scientists can estimate the amount of time that has passed since that rock formed.
Fossils are generally found in sedimentary rock not igneous rock.
Advantages of AMS Radiocarbon Dating over Radiometric Analysis by LSC:(a) small sample size needed (as little as 20 mg) thus it is recommended for radiocarbon dating of blood particles, grains, seeds, small artifacts, or very expensive or rare materials;(b) takes less time than radiometric method (less than 24 hours);(c) higher precision than radiometric techniques.
AMS dating is an advanced method compared to radiometric dating using liquid scintillation counters (LSC). Samples submitted for radiometric dating will be reported as Radiometric PLUS, which combines large sample handling techniques with particle detection.