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Science and Information Technology "Hello World"

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Old 3rd April 2012, 02:24 PM   #32246  /  #1
Jerome
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Earth Age off by Millions of Years

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Two of the solar system's best natural timekeepers have been caught misbehaving, suggesting that the accepted ages for the oldest known rock samples are off by a million years or more.
According to two new studies, a radioactive version of the element samarium decays much more quickly than previously thought, and different versions of uranium don't always appear in the same relative quantities in earthly rocks.
Both elements are used by geologists to date rocks and chart the history of events on our planet and in the solar system.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/...-of-years.html
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Old 3rd April 2012, 02:28 PM   #32247  /  #2
Adenosine
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I know they said that tens of millions of years can mean a lot, but when it comes to the age of the Earth ten million years is nothing.

I do like how science corrects itself though.
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Old 3rd April 2012, 02:32 PM   #32251  /  #3
Jerome
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I am most interested in the miscalculation of decay rates, and yes, it is nice to see when science acts in accordence with it's purpose.
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Old 3rd April 2012, 02:33 PM   #32252  /  #4
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The team produced a new, average figure for the uranium ratios. It shifts the ages of Earth's oldest rocks slightly, by just under a million years, Hiess says. The oldest rocks will have the biggest corrections: sediments that are 4.4 billion years old are now younger by 700,000 years. "To put it into a human perspective, if the Earth was only 18 years old, we have taken 1 day off the life of its oldest materials," Hiess says.
This is quite amazing precision.
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