Methods of dating the earth dating scan shrewsbury
Since they decay in a very known rate, these isotopes can be measured to determine how long the elements have existed.And by studying different meteorites from different locations in the Solar System, scientists know that the different planets all formed at the same time.For example, if you have a set amount of Thorium-232, half of it will decay over a billion years, and then half of that amount will decay in another billion years. By measuring the half lives of radioactive isotopes, geologists were able to build a measurement ladder that let them accurately calculate the age of geologic formations, including the Earth.They used the decay of uranium into various isotopes of lead.
Ernest Rutherford and Frederick Soddy, working at Mc Gill University, determined that half of any isotope of a radioactive element decays into another isotope at a set rate.Failed Methods for Calculating the Age of the Earth Our current, accurate method of measuring the age of the Earth comes at the end of a long series of estimates made through history.Clever scientists discovered features about the Earth and the Sun that change over time, and then calculated how old the planet Earth is from that.Bertram Boltwood applied this method of dating to 26 different samples of rocks, and discovered that they had been formed between 92 and 570 million years old, and further refinements to the technique gave ages between 250 million to 1.3 billion years.Geologists set about exploring the Earth, seeking the oldest rock formations on the planet.Also, over time, the amounts of Pb-206 and Pb-207 will change because as these isotopes are end-products of uranium decay. The higher the uranium-to-lead ratio of a rock, the more the Pb-206/Pb-204 and Pb-207/Pb-204 values will change with time.Now, supposing that the source of the Solar system was also uniformly distributed with uranium isotopes, then you can draw a data line showing a lead-to-uranium plot and, from the slope of the line, the amount of time which has passed since the pool of matter became separated into individual objects can be computed.At some point in the early history of Earth, a planetoid the size of Mars crashed into our planet.The resulting collision sent debris into orbit that eventually became the Moon.Older parts of the surface slide under newer plates to be recycled in the Earth’s core.The oldest rocks ever found on Earth are 4.0 – 4.2 billion years old.