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Absolute Dating
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Terms in this set (9)
isotope
2 forms of the same element, same number of protons, different numbers of neutrons
radioactive
unstable isotope
Carbon 14
radioactive isotope of Carbon
Carbon 12
stable isotope of Carbon
Half-life
the time it takes for half of a radioactive isotope to turn into a stable isotope
5,730 years
the length of the half-life for C14
If a fossil is old
it will be almost out of C14
If a fossil is young
it will have most of its C14 left
If a fossil is out of C14
a scientist will have to use a different unstable element with a longer half-life to determine the age
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