Biology definition for relative dating

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Some scientists prefer to call it calendar age, because the term suggests that the age can be plotted on a calendar.The absolute age of a material is much more desirable when constructing the timeline of our planet because it does not rely on comparisons to other materials.You find something extraordinary and want to know as much about it as you can.In this lesson, you'll learn how scientists determine the absolute age of materials.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.With potassium-argon dating, scientists can figure out the age of samples that are billions of years old.Thermoluminescence: Thermoluminescence is a bit more complex than our first two examples.

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

Some types are useful in certain situations and for certain materials, while others are perfect for other jobs.

For example, while one type of absolute age dating may be perfect to figure out how old a dinosaur bone fossil is, another method of dating might be perfect to figure out the age of a rock sample.

It is not an old myth that by counting the rings in the cross-section of a tree you can tell how old it is.

Scientists can take very accurate readings using this method, often to the exact calendar year.

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