Do scientists use carbon dating dinosaurs

National Geographic reports that scientist Dallas Abbott from Columbia University has been gathering data and announcing for the past ten years that a giant tsunami deposited ocean floor sediment on Madigascar.

The sediments cover an area 2 times the size of Manhattan and are over 600 feet tall.

The atoms of some chemical elements have different forms, called isotopes.

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click here to see the profile of the bottom of the lake!

Whats at the bottom might be shattered rocks or impact melt or maybe a piece of meteorite.

Geologists often need to know the age of material that they find.

They use absolute dating methods, sometimes called numerical dating, to give rocks an actual date, or date range, in number of years.

This technique is not restricted to bones; it can also be used on cloth, wood and plant fibers. The short half-life of carbon-14 means its cannot be used to date extremely old fossils.

Carbon-14 dating has been used successfully on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Minoan ruins and tombs of the pharohs among other things. Levels of carbon-14 become difficult to measure and compare after about 50,000 years (between 8 and 9 half lives; where 1% of the original carbon-14 remains undecayed).

Nitrogen normally occurs in a seven proton, seven nuetron, nitrogen-14 state.

When it collides with an energetic neutron it becomes carbon-14, with six protons and eight neutrons and gives off a hydrogen atom with one proton and zero neutrons. Carbon-14 is an isotope of carbon, which exists only is small amounts in the environment (1 in one trillion carbon atoms is carbon-14).

Carbon dating is used to determine the age of biological artifacts up to 50,000 years old.

This technique is widely used on recent artifacts, but teachers should note that this technique will not work on older fossils (like those of the dinosaurs which are over 65 million years old).

This is different to relative dating, which only puts geological events in time Most absolute dates for rocks are obtained with radiometric methods.

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