Isotopic age dating patterson

He graduated from Grinnell College with a degree in chemistry.

There, he met his future wife, Lorna (Laurie) Mc Cleary. Both were then sent to work on the Manhattan Project, first at the University of Chicago and then at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where he encountered mass spectrometry. After a postdoctoral year at Chicago, Patterson moved with Brown to the Division of Geology (later the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences) at the California Institute of Technology in 1952, as founding members of its geochemistry program.

Ernest Rutherford (of the gold foil experiment) first suggested the ratios of uranium and lead could be used to date rocks in 1905. Aston discovered 212 of the 287 naturally occurring isotopes, including lead.

Geologists began using this idea to try and measure the ages of old rocks, but at the time, didn’t know that there were different isotopes of each element, each with different decay rates. Thompson(you might know him for discovering the electron and for his plum pudding model) discovered isotopes of neon using a primitive precursor to a mass spectrometer. Geologists like Alfred Nier began measuring the isotopic ratios of old rocks, providing the basis for Patterson’s discoveries. World War II is a fabulous time period to study the relationship between history and science: scientific discoveries like atomic fission affected the course of history, while big projects like the Manhattan Project would change the very way science is done.* Patterson himself was drafted to work on the Manhattan Project; there, he helped develop the high precision mass spectrometers needed to measure abundances of tiny quantities of isotopes to very high precision.

His discovery was possible because of the work of many other researchers before him.

The mineral incorporates uranium and thorium atoms into its crystal structure, but strongly rejects lead.Clair Cameron Patterson (June 2, 1922 – December 5, 1995) was an American geochemist. from the University of Chicago and spent his entire professional career at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).Born in Mitchellville, Iowa, Patterson graduated from Grinnell College. In collaboration with George Tilton, Patterson developed the uranium–lead dating method into lead–lead dating.His work on this subject led to a total re-evaluation of the growth in industrial lead concentrations in the atmosphere and the human body, and his subsequent campaigning was seminal in the banning of tetraethyllead in gasoline and lead solder in food cans.Clair (Pat) Patterson was born in Mitchellville, Iowa.

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