What is relative dating and radiometric dating
For example, in decomposing organic bodies - such as an animal carcass - carbon-14, an isotope of carbon, is present.
Overtime, the C-14 atoms give off radiation, and, eventually, transform into nitrogen-14 atoms.
Relative dating is often used with fossils, bylooking at something's position deep in the earth in realtion to other things.
In palaeontology and archaeology, it becomes necessary to determine the age of an artifact or fossil when it is uncovered.
This, of course, is so that it can be properly catalogued, and, if valid, can be related to or associated with other objects from the same era. Fossils and artifacts don't come with labels attached that clearly state their age.
Together with stratigraphic principles, radiometric dating methods are used in geochronology to establish the geological time scale.
Among the best-known techniques are radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating and uranium-lead dating.
By allowing the establishment of geological timescales, it provides a significant source of information about the ages of fossils and the deduced rates of evolutionary change.