In the process of disintegration, the atom gives off radiation (energy emitted in the form of waves). Each element decays at its own rate, unaffected by external physical conditions.
By measuring the amount of original and transformed atoms in an object, scientists can determine the age of that object.
Continue Reading Relative dating observes the placement of fossils and rock in layers known as strata.
Relative dating methods are used to determine only if one sample is older or younger than another.
Stratigraphy: Study of layers of rocks or the objects embedded within those layers.
The age of the remains of plants, animals, and other organic material can be determined by measuring the amount of carbon-14 contained in that material.
For example, carbon dating is used to determine the age of organic materials.
Once something dies, it ceases taking in new carbon-14, and the existing carbon-14 within the organism decays into nitrogen at a fixed rate.