Radiometric dating is possible if

Other techniques include analyzing amino acids and measuring changes in an object's magnetic field.Scientists have also made improvements to the standard radiometric measurements.These layers are like bookends -- they give a beginning and an end to the period of time when the sedimentary rock formed.

To determine the ages of these specimens, scientists need an isotope with a very long half-life.But this sediment doesn't typically include the necessary isotopes in measurable amounts.Fossils can't form in the igneous rock that usually does contain the isotopes.The most widely known form of radiometric dating is carbon-14 dating.This is what archaeologists use to determine the age of human-made artifacts. The half-life of carbon-14 is only 5,730 years, so carbon-14 dating is only effective on samples that are less than 50,000 years old.

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