By establishing geological timescales, radiometric dating provides a significant source of information about the ages of fossils and rates of evolutionary change, and it is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts.
Different methods of radiometric dating can be used to estimate the age of a variety of natural and even man-made materials.
The methods work because radioactive elements are unstable, and they are always trying to move to a more stable state. This process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by releasing radiation is called radioactive decay.
Radiometric dating, often called radioactive dating, is a technique used to determine the age of materials such as rocks.
It is based on a comparison between the observed abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope and its decay products, using known decay rates.
Radiometric dating is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts.
Different methods of radiometric dating vary in the timescale over which they are accurate and the materials to which they can be applied.
The method compares the abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope within the material to the abundance of its decay products, which form at a known constant rate of decay.
The use of radiometric dating was first published in 1907 by Bertram Boltwood and is now the principal source of information about the absolute age of rocks and other geological features, including the age of fossilized life forms or the age of the Earth itself, and can also be used to date a wide range of natural and man-made materials.
The Mauer sands are overlain by several Middle and Late Pleistocene glacial loess layers with interstratified interglacial paleosoil horizons, which constrain the age of the fossil to older than 350 ka (3).