Difference between relative dating and radioactive dating
A layer that is higher is of later age than a layer that is lower in order.This means that the oldest are the strata that are lying at the bottom.Absolute dating, on the other hand is capable of telling the exact age of an item using carbon dating and many other techniques that were not there in earlier times.
Radiocarbon, or carbon 14, is an isotope of the element carbon that is unstable and weakly radioactive. Carbon 14 is continually being formed in the upper atmosphere by the effect of cosmic ray neutrons on nitrogen 14 atoms.When they die, they stop exchanging carbon with the biosphere and their carbon 14 content then starts to decrease at a rate determined by the law of radioactive decay.Radiocarbon dating is essentially a method designed to measure residual radioactivity.Though using similar methods, these two techniques differ in certain ways that will be discussed in this article.As the name implies, relative dating can tell which of the two artifacts is older.
The most popular method of radio dating is radio carbon dating which is possible because of the presence of C-14, an unstable isotope of carbon.