Radiometric dating test questions

For example, a steel spearhead cannot be carbon dated, so archaeologists might perform testing on the wooden shaft it was attached to.This provides good information, but it only indicates how long ago that piece of wood was cut from a living tree.This is different to relative dating, which only puts geological events in time Most absolute dates for rocks are obtained with radiometric methods.

Several factors affect radiocarbon test results, not all of which are easy to control objectively.

For this reason, it’s preferable to date objects using multiple methods, rather than relying on one single test.

This gives us the impression that all but a small percentage of the dates computed by radiometric methods agree with the assumed ages of the rocks in which they are found, and that all of these various methods almost always give ages that agree with each other to within a few percentage points.

Since there doesn't seem to be any systematic error that could cause so many methods to agree with each other so often, it seems that there is no other rational conclusion than to accept these dates as accurate.

These slightly different atoms of the same chemical element are called isotopes of that element.

Each chapter will include a few questions designed to test your knowledge of material covered in the chapter and in the Internet-based resources.

Geologists often need to know the age of material that they find.

They use absolute dating methods, sometimes called numerical dating, to give rocks an actual date, or date range, in number of years.

So let’s take a closer look at these methods and see how reliable they really are.

Each chemical element, such as carbon and oxygen, consists of atoms unique to it.

Question: "Is carbon dating a reliable method for determining the age of things?

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