Bertram boltwood radiometric dating

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The first step toward accurately measuring geologic time came at the turn of the 20th century, when French physicist Henry Becquerel discovered the natural radioactive decay of uranium.Shortly thereafter, building on related work by Ernest Rutherford, American chemist Bertram Borden Boltwood determined that he could use the predictable decay of radioactive elements such as uranium into other elements to keep track of time.Boltwood grew interested in radioactivity and, in 1904, showed that many of the radioactive elements decay into other radioactive elements. In 1905 he proposed that lead is the final decay product of uranium and two years later developed a method of determining the age of some rocks by measuring the ratio of lead and uranium.Bertram Borden Boltwood (July 27, 1870 Amherst, Massachusetts – August 15, 1927, Hancock Point, Maine) was an American pioneer of radiochemistry.

He became an authority on radiochemistry and radioactive elements, in particular in understanding the uranium decay series.

The American radiochemist Bertram Borden Boltwood (1870-1927) discovered the parent of radium and developed a method of geological dating.

Bertram Boltwood was born on July 27, 1870, in Amherst, Massachusetts.

And last week scientists announced that new dates for an extinction event that claimed most of Australia's large animals show that humans, not the climate, wiped them out.

Although visual inspection of the rocks, fossils and archaeological remains used to reconstruct our planet's past provides critical information, only by ascertaining their ages can researchers put this data into a meaningful context.

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