Both are attempting to get information on the history of events.
The primary difference in relative dating and absolute dating is that absolute dating assigns an actual time or age to an event or object.
Relative dating helps determine what came first and what followed, but doesn't help determine actual age.
Radiometric dating, or numeric dating, determines an actual or approximate age of an object by studying the rate of decay of radioactive isotopes, such as uranium, potassium, rubidium and carbon-14 within that object. This rate provides scientists with an accurate measurement system to determine age.
Relative dating and radiometric dating are used to determine age of fossils and geologic features, but with different methods.
Relative dating uses observation of location within rock layers, while radiometric dating uses data from the decay of radioactive substances within an object.
Once something dies, it ceases taking in new carbon-14, and the existing carbon-14 within the organism decays into nitrogen at a fixed rate.The term used to define the amount of time it takes for half of the radioactive atoms, such as C-14, in a body or object to decay fully is known as a "half-life." The half-life of C-14 is approximately 5 730 years.This means that, after 5 730 years, roughly half of the radioactive C-14 atoms in a decomposing organic body will have decayed into nitrogen-14 atoms. That is, after two half-lives, 100% of the C-14 atoms will not have decayed into N-14 atoms. To put it simply, if one were to draw the decay rate of C-14 on a line chart, it would not be a straight, diagonal line. Scientists can use decay rates to, very roughly, determine the age of a fossil or artifact.Continue Reading Relative dating observes the placement of fossils and rock in layers known as strata.Basically, fossils and rock found in lower strata are older than those found in higher strata because lower objects must have been deposited first, while higher objects were deposited last.