Absolute dating lesson plan
Basic understanding of how radiometric dating works is useful. This lesson is highly simplified, and the powerpoint describes everything the student will need to know for the activity.
They will view two video lessons, take two related quizzes, and participate in two activities that will help to reinforce newly-learned material.1 - 1.5 Hours CCSS. RST.9-10.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
On the other hand, the half-life of the isotope potassium 40 as it decays to argon is 1.26 billion years.
So carbon 14 is used to date materials that aren’t that old geologically, say in the tens of thousands of years, while potassium-argon dating can be used to determine the ages of much older materials, in the millions and billions year range.
That’s because zircon is super tough – it resists weathering. Each radioactive isotope works best for particular applications.
The half-life of carbon 14, for example, is 5,730 years.