Radiometric dating problem

02-Dec-2016 09:03 by 10 Comments

Radiometric dating problem

In 1830, geologist Charles Lyell, developing ideas found in James Hutton's works, popularized the concept that the features of Earth were in perpetual change, eroding and reforming continuously, and the rate of this change was roughly constant.This was a challenge to the traditional view, which saw the history of Earth as static, He assumed that Earth had formed as a completely molten object, and determined the amount of time it would take for the near-surface to cool to its present temperature.

In 1895 John Perry challenged Kelvin's figure on the basis of his assumptions on conductivity, and Oliver Heaviside entered the dialogue, considering it "a vehicle to display the ability of his operator method to solve problems of astonishing complexity." Other scientists backed up Thomson's figures. Darwin, proposed that Earth and Moon had broken apart in their early days when they were both molten.It is also difficult to determine the exact age of the oldest rocks on Earth, exposed at the surface, as they are aggregates of minerals of possibly different ages.Studies of strata, the layering of rocks and earth, gave naturalists an appreciation that Earth may have been through many changes during its existence.Comparing the mass and luminosity of the Sun to those of other stars, it appears that the Solar System cannot be much older than those rocks.Calcium-aluminium-rich inclusions—the oldest known solid constituents within meteorites that are formed within the Solar System—are 4.567 billion years old, giving an age for the Solar System and an upper limit for the age of Earth.In 1895, John Perry produced an age-of-Earth estimate of 2 to 3 billion years using a model of a convective mantle and thin crust.

Kelvin stuck by his estimate of 100 million years, and later reduced it to about 20 million years.This led him to estimate that Earth was about 75,000 years old.Other naturalists used these hypotheses to construct a history of Earth, though their timelines were inexact as they did not know how long it took to lay down stratigraphic layers.It is hypothesised that the accretion of Earth began soon after the formation of the calcium-aluminium-rich inclusions and the meteorites.Because the exact amount of time this accretion process took is not yet known, and the predictions from different accretion models range from a few million up to about 100 million years, the exact age of Earth is difficult to determine.material and is consistent with the radiometric ages of the oldest-known terrestrial and lunar samples.

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