Radiometric dating of the oldest rocks on earth advantages of dating a younger man
In an effort to further refine the age of Earth, scientists began to look outward.The material that formed the solar system was a cloud of dust and gas that surrounded the young sun.Greenland boasts the Isua Supracrustal rocks (3.7 to 3.8 billion years old), while rocks in Swaziland are 3.4 to 3.5 billion years.Samples in Western Australia run 3.4 to 3.6 billion years old.Likewise, scientists use radiometric dating to determine the ages of moon rocks, obtained by astronauts.Taken together, these methods give results that suggest an age for our Earth, meteorites, the moon – and by inference our entire solar system – of 4.5 to 4.6 billion years old.Using this technique, scientists could, for example, analyze a sample from Earth’s crust, figure out the quantities of uranium and lead, plug those values along with the half-life into a logarithmic equation, in order to compute the age of the rock.Over the decades of the 20th century, scientists documented tens of thousands of radiometric age measurements.
You’ve seen these rock layers if you’ve ever observed a cut-away section of a mountain, perhaps because a highway runs through it. In the early part of the 20th century, scientists still weren’t sure.This work gave rise to a process known as radiometric dating.This technique is based on a comparison between the measured amount of a naturally occurring radioactive element and its decay products, assuming a constant rate of decay – known as a half-life.But Earth’s layers of rock did not give up the secret of Earth’s age easily. However, from working with layer upon layer of rock laid down on Earth over long time spans, early 20th century scientists came to believe Earth not of atoms of one chemical element into another.They led to the discovery that certain very heavy elements could decay into lighter elements – such as uranium decaying into lead.