Compare and contrast relative dating and radioactive dating

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But really, how do scientists figure out how old their dinosaur bones are?

Photo from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah.For example, techniques based on isotopes with half lives in the thousands of years, such as Carbon-14, cannot be used to date materials that have ages on the order of billions of years, as the detectable amounts of the radioactive atoms and their decayed daughter isotopes will be too small to measure within the uncertainty of the instruments.One of the most widely used and well-known absolute dating techniques is carbon-14 (or radiocarbon) dating, which is used to date organic remains.Free 5-day trial Learn how scientists determine the ages of rocks and fossils.We'll explore both relative and numerical dating on our quest to understand the process of geological dating.

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