Yet, you’ve heard the news: Earth is 4.6 billion years old. That corn cob found in an ancient Native American fire pit is 1,000 years old. Geologic age dating—assigning an age to materials—is an entire discipline of its own.
Relative dating is used to arrange geological events, and the rocks they leave behind, in a sequence.
The method of reading the order is called stratigraphy (layers of rock are called strata).
This makes Int Cal13 an indispensable tool for the radiocarbon dating sector, a market estimated to be worth around £17.5m per year.
Developed by researchers from our School of Mathematics and Statistics and the CHRONO Centre at Queen's University Belfast, Int Cal13 will provide reliable time-scales for both archaeologists and environmental scientists.
Radiocarbon dating is possible because, while alive, plants, animals and humans absorb tiny amounts of radioactive carbon-14 from the atmosphere.
When they die, absorption stops and the amount of carbon-14 begins to decrease in a predictable way as described by the law of radioactive decay.
After you complete an EI online Assessment (This is optional but highly recommended), I will debrief you on the results, and together we will come up with a plan to increase the skills necessary to solve the particular problem that you are facing.
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Some fossils, called index fossils, are particularly useful in correlating rocks.