Scientists use a technique called radiometric dating to estimate the ages of rocks, fossils, and the earth.
Many people have been led to believe that radiometric dating methods have proved the earth to be billions of years old.
Radiocarbon dating works by comparing the three different isotopes of carbon, a common element found in nearly everything.
Isotopes of a particular element have the same number of protons, but different numbers of neutrons.
From this point onwards the carbon in the body will begin to decay.Recall that atoms are the basic building blocks of matter.Atoms are made up of much smaller particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons.Scientists once thought Rapa Nui was settled from A. 300 to 1200, but radiocarbon dating has now shown that it was settled from 700 to 1100.These large volcanic stone statues, or moai, are now believed to have been carved from 1100 to 1680, based on radiocarbon dating.Other corrections must be made to account for the proportion of throughout the biosphere (reservoir effects).Additional complications come from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, and from the above-ground nuclear tests done in the 1950s and 1960s.These statues were made on Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, a tiny, remote, island in the Pacific Ocean, 2,000 miles away from Chile.Scientists have debated for decades when these giant statues were built and why the civilization of Rapa Nui collapsed. The method was developed by Willard Libby in the late 1940s and soon became a standard tool for archaeologists.Libby received the Nobel Prize for his work in 1960.