Chronometric dating method

Half-life: Measurement of the time it takes for one-half of a radioactive substance to decay.

Radioactive decay: The predictable manner in which a population of atoms of a radioactive element spontaneously disintegrate over time.

The range of conventional radiocarbon dating is 30,000 to 40,000 years.

With sensitive instrumentation, this range can be extended to 70,000 years.

Absolute dating methods are used to determine an actual date in years for the age of an object.

Eventually, the entire ecosystem (community of plants and animals) of the planet, including humans, is filled with a concentration of carbon-14.

As long as an organism is alive, the supply of carbon-14 is replenished.

When the organism dies, the supply stops, and the carbon-14 contained in the organism begins to spontaneously decay into nitrogen-14.

This important new text compiles the work of some of today's most innovative archaeologists who summarize progress in their respective techniques over the last 30 years - with an emphasis on developments of the last five - and the status of current research.

Dating techniques are procedures used by scientists to determine the age of an object or a series of events.

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