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Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a fossil by using radiometric dating to measure the decay of isotopes, either within the fossil or more often the rocks associated with it.
The majority of the time fossils are dated using relative dating techniques.
This amount is often unknown and is one of the downfalls of conventional radiometric dating.
However, isochron dating bypasses this assumption, as explained below. The final condition is the number of atoms of parent and daughter isotopes remaining in the rock and can easily be measured in a lab.
This is different to relative dating, which only puts geological events in time Most absolute dates for rocks are obtained with radiometric methods.
These use radioactive minerals in rocks as geological clocks.
Scientists can use certain types of fossils referred to as index fossils to assist in relative dating via correlation.
Index fossils are fossils that are known to only occur within a very specific age range.
For this purpose, isochron dating was developed, a process "that solves both of these problems (accurate date, assumptions) at once" (Stasson 1992). 2) The process must occur at a relatively uniform rate.
It has been established through extensive experimentation that radioactive decay occurs at a constant rate. In this case, the initial condition is the amount of daughter isotope in the rock when it was formed.
The atoms of some chemical elements have different forms, called isotopes.