Nature's Clocks: How Scientists Measure the Age of Almost Everything

Nature's Clocks: How Scientists Measure the Age of Almost Everything

Doug Macdougall


"Radioactivity is sort of a clock that by no means wishes adjusting," writes Doug Macdougall. "It will be not easy to layout a extra trustworthy timekeeper." In Nature's Clocks, Macdougall tells how scientists who have been looking to comprehend the previous arrived on the inventive recommendations they now use to figure out the age of gadgets and organisms. via studying radiocarbon (C-14) dating—the top identified of those methods—and a number of different ideas that geologists use to decode the far away previous, Macdougall unwraps the final century's advances, explaining how they show the age of our fossil ancestors reminiscent of "Lucy," the timing of the dinosaurs' extinction, and the fitting a long time of tiny mineral grains that date from the start of the earth's background. In vigorous and available prose, he describes how the technological know-how of geochronology has built and flourished. concerning those advances throughout the tales of the scientists themselves—James Hutton, William Smith, Arthur Holmes, Ernest Rutherford, Willard Libby, and Clair Patterson—Macdougall indicates how they used ingenuity and notion to build one among sleek science's most vital accomplishments: a timescale for the earth's evolution and human prehistory.

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