Radiometric dating is sometimes referred to as radioactive dating.In fact, you might like this term better, because the dating method relies on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes. Geologists use those radioactive isotopes to date volcanic ash or granite formations like the giant Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.
So, we rely on radiometric dating to calculate their ages.Where can they find a clock to measure these huge time periods?Or on a slightly smaller scale, where can paleontologists find a clock to tell the age of fossils, or how can archeologists determine how old ancient pottery and buried artifacts are? They are mostly empty space with a denser tiny area called the nucleus and a cloud of electrons surrounding the nucleus.Create a model of radioactive decay using dice and test its predictive power on dating the age of a hypothetical rock or artifact. That is what we encounter in our daily lives, right?The Earth orbits the Sun in about one year's time, the Earth rotates on its axis every 24 hours, 60 ticks of the second hand on a clock indicates 1 minute has passed.Radioactive decay is the term used for the process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by releasing radiation.We know that elements can exist as isotopes, which means that their atomic nuclei contain the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons.Droughts and other variations in the climate make the tree grow slower or faster than normal, which shows up in the widths of the tree rings.These tree ring variations will appear in all trees growing in a certain region, so scientists can match up the growth rings of living and dead trees.Using logs recovered from old buildings and ancient ruins, scientists have been able to compare tree rings to create a continuous record of tree rings over the past 2,000 years.This tree ring record has proven extremely useful in creating a record of climate change, and in finding the age of ancient structures. The thick, light-colored part of each ring represents rapid spring and summer growth.