The definition of dating

Each material and situation has an optimal method that should be used in determining its age. We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities.

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Instead of saying a material is older or younger than something else, scientists can simply report the age in years.

Imagine it this way: If you have any siblings, using relative age dating would be like saying, 'I am older than my brother but younger than my sister,' but using absolute age dating would be like saying, 'I am 23 years old.' Since scientists work with many different types of Earth materials (rock, fossils, etc.), there are many types of absolute age dating.

This method of dating is useful for materials that were once living, but has a significant limitation: Carbon dating is only reliable for materials that are up to about 75,000 years old.

If scientists encountered anything older than that, they would have to use a different method.

There are many different types of absolute age dating methods because many different types of materials exist.

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.

The absolute age of an Earth material is a measure of how old it actually is in years.

Potassium-argon dating: This type of dating is very similar to radiocarbon dating, in that is uses essentially the same methods.

The upside of potassium-argon dating, though, is that much older samples can be tested.

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In relative age dating, scientists study a material and compare it to other similar materials in order to establish a timeline.

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