Relative and absolute age dating

In this lesson, you'll learn how scientists determine the absolute age of materials.Scientists who study the ancient Earth have been working for hundreds of years to build an accurate timeline of the formation of the planet and the evolution of all life. In order to build and improve this timeline, scientists must have several types of accurate methods they can use to determine the ages of materials.Dendrochronology: This is just a fancy term for counting tree rings!It is not an old myth that by counting the rings in the cross-section of a tree you can tell how old it is.The absolute age of a material is much more desirable when constructing the timeline of our planet because it does not rely on comparisons to other materials.Instead of saying a material is older or younger than something else, scientists can simply report the age in years.

This method is a bit vague, which is why modern scientists have developed many methods by which to determine the absolute age of Earth materials.Scientists can take very accurate readings using this method, often to the exact calendar year.Amino acid dating: This method is useful when determining the age of a material that was once alive. By counting the amounts of certain amino acids, scientists can determine how long ago the specimen died.You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree.Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

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