Radiometric age dating for kids

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The decay may happen by emission of particles (usually electrons (beta decay), positrons or alpha particles) or by spontaneous nuclear fission, and electron capture.

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The thing that makes this decay process so valuable for determining the age of an object is that each radioactive isotope decays at its own fixed rate, which is expressed in terms of its half-life.

Fossils may be dated by taking samples of rocks from above and below the fossil's original position.

Radiometric dating is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts.

However, scientists can look at the decay of other elements in these objects allowing them to date them up to 2.2 billion years.

Radiometric dating (often called radioactive dating) is a way to find out how old something is.

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