Lead isotope dating

Therefore, all one has to do in general terms is to find a radioactive mineral which has been a closed system since the time of mineralization, and for which the amount of the daughter product at the beginning is known, the so-called primordial amount, and the absolute age may be calculated from the present amount of parent and daughter isotopes in the mineral.

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However, it is even more surprising to learn that the lead isotope ratios chosen by Patterson Most meteorites have lead isotope ratios similar to those of present day common lead.

Up until 1972 these could be explained as being contaminated with radiogenic lead from uranium and thorium decay.

In 1972, however, Gale showed unequivocally that there is by no means sufficient uranium and thorium to account for what could previously have been called radiogenic lead.

magazine has been continuously published since 1978, we are publishing some of the articles from the archives for historical interest, such as this.

For teaching and sharing purposes, readers are advised to supplement these historic articles with more up-to-date ones suggested in the Related Articles and Further Reading below.

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