What is Radioactive Dating? - Definition & Facts


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How can the absolute age of a rock be determined?

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1. Carbon-12 and carbon-14 are examples of _____.


Potassium-40 has a half-life of approximately 1.3 billion years. Potassium-40 decays into the daughter product, argon-40.

A rock sample containing argon-40 has a 50% to 50% parent/daughter ratio. How old is this rock?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Use this quiz/worksheet combo to help assess your knowledge of how radioactive dating works. Some of the topics you will need to be aware of include how to measure the age of a rock, what an atomic clock means, and what method of radioactive dating would be used for an Egyptian mummy.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

With this quiz and worksheet, you can evaluate your understanding of:

  • How to determine the absolute age of a rock
  • What carbon-12 and carbon-14 are examples of
  • Why half-life is referred to as an atomic clock
  • The isotope that would be used for an Egyptian mummy

Skills Practiced

Test how well you can practice the following skills:

  • Reading comprehension - ensure you can draw out the most pertinent details from the related lesson on radioactive dating
  • Information recall - access what you have learned regarding how to calculate the date of rock samples
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about elements that can be used to date materials

Additional Learning

Get more information on radioactive dating by reviewing the corresponding lesson titled What is Radioactive Dating? - Definition & Facts. The following objectives are addressed in the lesson:

  • Explains the process of radioactive dating
  • Defines radioactivity
  • Describes the variation of neutrons in an atom
  • Discusses the half-life of atoms
  • Details the half-life of parent versus a daughter product
  • Covers a common element used in radiocarbon dating