In this article, we will examine the methods by which scientists use radioactivity to determine the age of objects, most notably carbon-14 dating.

Carbon-14 dating is a way of determining the age of certain archeological artifacts of a biological origin up to about 50,000 years old.

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While the oldest known rocks on Earth are about 3.5 billion years old, researchers have found zircon crystals that are 4.3 billion years old [source: USGS].

Based on the analysis of these samples, scientists estimate that the Earth itself is about 4.5 billion years old.

The extreme temperatures of the magma would just destroy the bones.

So to determine the age of sedimentary rock layers, researchers first have to find neighboring layers of Earth that include igneous rock, such as volcanic ash.

Using the basic ideas of bracketing and radiometric dating, researchers have determined the age of rock layers all over the world.

This information has also helped determine the age of the Earth itself.

At an ar­chaeological dig, a piece of wooden tool is unearthed and the archaeologist finds it to be 5,000 years old.

A child mummy is found high in the Andes and the archaeologist says the child lived more than 2,000 years ago.

Other techniques include analyzing amino acids and measuring changes in an object's magnetic field.