Each atom is understood to be made up of three basic parts.
The nucleus contains protons (tiny particles each with a single positive electric charge) and neutrons (particles without any electric charge).
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So in order to date most older fossils, scientists look for layers of igneous rock or volcanic ash above and below the fossil.
Scientists date igneous rock using elements that are slow to decay, such as uranium and potassium.
See the background information on Students will use half-life properties of isotopes to determine the age of different "rocks" and "fossils" made out of bags of beads.
Through this simulation, they will gain an understanding of how scientists are able to use isotopes such as U-235 and Pb-207 to determine the age of ancient minerals. Science helps drive technology, as it addresses questions that demand more sophisticated instruments and provides principles for better instrumentation and technique.
Matter is made of minute particles called atoms, and atoms are composed of even smaller components.
These components have measurable properties, such as mass and electrical charge.
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For centuries, people were happy to simply accept the teachings of mythology or religion.
These datings put the age of the Earth anywhere from around 7,000 to trillions of years old.
Ages of many millions of years for rocks and fossils are glibly presented as fact in many textbooks, the popular media, and museums. One has only to wait: time itself performs the miracles.”1 Yet few people seem to know how these radiometric dating methods work.