Dating on earth hardsub

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In a nutshell, this is how it works: atoms are generally regarded as the smallest unit of matter; everything is made of atoms. An "element" is a substance made up of atoms which have the same number of protons.

However, if these atoms have too many or too few neutrons, the element is unstable and will decay.

Can we determine the age of the earth, and if so, how?

Scientists generally agree that the answer to the riddle of the age of the earth is carefully concealed within the earth's crust.

Thus, we determine the age of the rock by the fossils it contains, and we determine the age of the fossils by the rock in which they are found. To learn more about this circular argument, explore our geologic time scale site.

Age of the Earth - The Geologic Column The geologic column is the older of the two dating methods employed by scientists to determine the age of the earth.Some of these fossils have been chosen to be what are called "index fossils".Scientists assume the age of an index fossil by the stage of evolutionary history the fossil is assumed to be in.The unstable element will eventually decay into a stable element.Radiometric dating techniques utilize this natural decay process by measuring how long it takes for the unstable element to decay into a stable element and by measuring how much stable element has been produced by the unstable element, thus determining how long the unstable element has been decaying.

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