Alternative dating techniques

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And this would also include things like trees and plants, which give us paper and cloth.So, radiocarbon dating is also useful for determining the age of relics, such the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Shroud of Turin.Because plants use carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, this isotope ends up inside the plant, and because animals eat plants, they get some as well.When a plant or an animal dies, it stops taking in carbon-14.When the isotope is halfway to that point, it has reached its half-life.There are different methods of radiometric dating that will vary due to the type of material that is being dated.

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For example, with potassium-argon dating, we can tell the age of materials that contain potassium because we know that potassium-40 decays into argon-40 with a half-life of 1.3 billion years.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.For example, uranium-lead dating can be used to find the age of a uranium-containing mineral.It works because we know the fixed radioactive decay rates of uranium-238, which decays to lead-206, and for uranium-235, which decays to lead-207.

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