How radioactive dating works
So in order to date most older fossils, scientists look for layers of igneous rock or volcanic ash above and below the fossil.
Radiocarbon dating is used to work out the age of things that died up to 50,000 years ago. As far as working out the age of long-dead things goes, carbon has got a few things going for it. The proteins, carbohydrates and fats that make up much of our tissues are all based on carbon.Of all the carbon in the world only a very small amount is radioactive. Plants are designed to absorb carbon dioxide (what you and I breathe out --. How Carbon Dating works Carbon dating is one method scientists use to measure the ages of objects which were alive at some time in the past. In our atmosphere there are particles of carbon, when rays from the sun hit them it turns a few of them into carbon 14 (a radioactive carbon).
Carbon-14, the radioactive version of carbon, is rare — it only makes up one trillionth of all the carbon in the world.