Latest Issue of Science News


50 Years Ago

Science Past from the issue of December 1, 1962

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.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X
This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.