Science Past from the issue of December 1, 1962 | Science News

Support Science Journalism

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.

50 Years Ago

Science Past from the issue of December 1, 1962

12:53pm, November 16, 2012

NEW DATING METHOD FOR MILLION-YEAR-OLD FOSSILS — A new radioactive dating method promises to close one of the major remaining gaps in methods of fixing dates on the geological and archaeological time scales. The new procedure, based on radioactive inequality in nature between uranium-234 and its parent U-238, was originated by David Turber of Columbia’s Lamont Geological Observatory at Palisades, N.Y. The research is described in the Journal of Geophysical Research, Nov. 1962. Uranium-234 is an isotope of uranium formed by the radioactive decay of U-238. The “disequilibrium” between the two isotopes possibly can be employed to date sedimentary material — which often contains fossils — as old as 1 million to 1.5 million years.

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content