How is radiometric dating used to determine the age of earth

Adapted from The Age of the Earth, by the Branch of Isotope Geology, United . Moon, and meteorites, radiometric dating has been used to determine ages of.
Table of contents



Kelvin defended this calculation throughout his life, even disputing Darwin's explanations of evolution as impossible in that time period. In , Marie Curie discovered the phenomenon of radioactivity, in which unstable atoms lose energy, or decay, by emitting radiation in the form of particles or electromagnetic waves. By physicist Ernest Rutherford showed how this decay process could act as a clock for dating old rocks. Meanwhile, Arthur Holmes was finishing up a geology degree at the Imperial College of Science in London where he developed the technique of dating rocks using the uranium-lead method.

How Does Radiocarbon Dating Work? - Instant Egghead #28

By applying the technique to his oldest rock, Holmes proposed that the Earth was at least 1. In a report of his findings published in in the journal Nature , Holmes expressed the less-than-ecstatic reception his findings received: Since then, several revisions have been made. In the s, Earth's age crept up toward 3 billion years, making it for a time even older than the universe, which was then estimated to be about 1.

Navigation menu

The best estimate for Earth's age is based on radiometric dating of fragments from the Canyon Diablo iron meteorite. Where do we find the oldest continental rocks and the oldest seafloor?

Age of the Earth

What are the different types of rocks? What is a fossil and what are they used for? What are hydrothermal vents, and why do we find them along mid-ocean ridges?

Seismology What is a seismic wave? What is the difference between body waves and surface waves?

You are here

And between P-waves and S-waves? Why can't S-waves travel through liquids? How far can seismic waves reach? Why do P-waves travel faster than S-waves? Why is the interior of the Earth hot? What is the magnetic field of the Earth? Earthquakes and Faults Why do tectonic plates move?

Brief history of the plate tectonics theory Before colliding with Asia, where was India? What is an earthquake? What is the highest magnitude an earthquake can reach?


  • How is Earth's Age Calculated?.
  • How is Earth's Age Calculated?.
  • ;

What are the biggest historical earthquakes? Why do earthquakes happen in clusters? Where are earthquakes expected in the world, especially in Asia? What is a supercontinent? Are all the faults on Earth active? How can human activities cause climate change? Why do urbanisation and deforestation make flooding more likely?

Age of the Earth - Wikipedia

Earthquake Hazards Is Singapore threatened by earthquakes? Can we predict earthquakes? Why does a building on solid bedrock resist better to an earthquake than a building on sediment or reclaimed land? Why does a building with base isolation resist better to an earthquake than a building without base isolation? Why does a building with full bracing resist better to an earthquake than a building with no bracing?

Impacts of Volcanic Hazards What are the principal signals of a volcanic unrest? How can we forecast volcanic eruptions? Tsunamis Where is a tsunami most likely to happen?