Radiometric dating technique used to date lucy
The methods work because radioactive elements are unstable, and they are always trying to move to a more stable state. This process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by releasing radiation is called radioactive decay.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.The technique of comparing the abundance ratio of a radioactive isotope to a reference isotope to determine the age of a material is called radioactive dating.Many isotopes have been studied, probing a wide range of time scales. It is produced in the upper atmosphere by radiation from the sun.(Specifically, neutrons hit nitrogen-14 atoms and transmute them to carbon.) Land plants, such as trees, get their carbon from carbon dioxide in the air. The same is true of any creature that gets its carbon by eating such plants. Suppose such a creature dies, and the body is preserved.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 55,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.
Learn about half-life and how it is used in different dating methods, such as uranium-lead dating and radiocarbon dating, in this video lesson. As we age, our hair turns gray, our skin wrinkles and our gait slows.
However, rocks and other objects in nature do not give off such obvious clues about how long they have been around.
So, we rely on radiometric dating to calculate their ages.
Most scientists agree that the human species emerged somewhere in Africa about 200,000 years ago.
This understanding is based on fossilized bones and skulls that have been uncovered in East Africa and dated accurately by radiometric dating.