Dating organic material
This is made up of numerous regional tree-ring chronologies, particularly in the medieval and post-medieval periods, for which the laboratory now has more than 200 reference chronologies from many areas. By comparing the proportion of K-40 to Ar-40 in a sample of volcanic rock, and knowing the decay rate of K-40, the date that the rock formed can be determined.
William "Strata" Smith, a civil engineer and surveyor, was well acquainted with areas in southern England where "limestone and shales are layered like slices of bread and butter." His hobby of collecting and cataloging fossil shells from these rocks led to the discovery that certain layers contained fossils unlike those in other layers.These tests have consistently given the same ages for each of these objects.Examples of a number of consistent dates derived from different methods are given.A short but clear explanation about radioactive isotopes commonly used for determining ages of rocks (with graphics) and putting numbers on the geologic time scale, extending it back before the occurance of abundant index fossils.This is a relatively new method intended to to improve the precision of uranium and thorium istopy methods.
Search for dating organic material:
Hutton, a Scottish geologist, first proposed formally the fundamental principle used to classify rocks according to their relative ages.