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One of the most widely used and well-known absolute dating techniques is carbon-14 (or radiocarbon) dating, which is used to date organic remains.
This is a radiometric technique since it is based on radioactive decay.
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.
In the case of potassium-argon decay, this loss of a proton causes the atom to change from a reactive alkali metal to a non-reactive noble gas, which is an important characteristic.
Finally in 1976, it was discovered that the earth is "really" 4.6 billion years old… The answer of 25 million years deduced by Kelvin was not received favorably by geologists.
Carbon-14 is an unstable isotope of normal carbon, carbon-12.
Cosmic radiation entering the earth’s atmosphere produces carbon-14, and plants take in carbon-14 as they fix carbon dioxide.
The half-life of potassium40 is roughly 1.25 billion years, so four half-lives are about five billion years, or older than the earth.
Other radiometric techniques, like carbon14, are useful for much more recent dates.