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He was employed at Caltech's Division of Geological & Planetary Sciences at the time of writing the first edition.

He is presently employed in the Space & Atmospheric Sciences Group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

It has become increasingly clear that these radiometric dating techniques agree with each other and as a whole, present a coherent picture in which the Earth was created a very long time ago.

Further evidence comes from the complete agreement between radiometric dates and other dating methods such as counting tree rings or glacier ice core layers.

(The nucleus of an atom is made up of protons and neutrons.) For example, the element carbon, which always has six protons in its nucleus, has three isotopes: one with six neutrons in the nucleus, one with seven, and one with eight.

Some isotopes are stable, but some are unstable or radioactive.

Over time, radioactive isotopes change into stable isotopes by a process known as radioactive decay.

These rates are usually expressed as the isotope's half-life--that is, the time it takes for one-half of the parent isotopes to decay.

Here is an easy-to understand analogy for your students: relative age dating is like saying that your grandfather is older than you.

Absolute age dating is like saying you are 15 years old and your grandfather is 77 years old.

To determine the relative age of different rocks, geologists start with the assumption that unless something has happened, in a sequence of sedimentary rock layers, the newer rock layers will be on top of older ones. This rule is common sense, but it serves as a powerful reference point.

Geologists draw on it and other basic principles ( to determine the relative ages of rocks or features such as faults.

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