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The Chronologers' Quest  : The Search for the Age of the Earth - Patrick Wyse Jackson

The Chronologers' Quest

The Search for the Age of the Earth


Published: 1st August 2006
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Published: 30th August 2002
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The debate over the age of the Earth has been ongoing for over two thousand years, and has pitted physicists and astronomers against biologists, religious philosophers against geologists.

The Chronologers' Quest tells the fascinating story of our attempts to determine the age of the Earth.
v This book investigates the many novel methods used in the search for the Earth's age, from James Ussher and John Lightfoot examining biblical chronologies, Comte de Buffon and Lord Kelvin determining the length of time for the cooling of the Earth, to the more recent investigations of Arthur Holmes and Clair Patterson into radioactive dating of rocks and meteorites.

The Chronologers' Quest is a readable account of the measurement of geological time. It will be of great interest to a wide range of readers, from those with little scientific background, to students and scientists in a wide range of the earth sciences.

  • Tells the story of how the age of the Earth was determined in an accessible manner
  • Suitable for a wide range of readers, from those with little scientific background to students and geologists
  • Illustrated with contemporary images which enhance the story.

About the Author

Patrick Wyse Jackson is a lecturer in Geology and curator of the Geological Museum in Trinity College, Dublin, and is a member of the International Commission on the History of Geology.

"...interesting and accessible to a general audience ... Jackson lays out the information clearly and chronologically, making it an excellent resource for researchers." Sky & Telescope

List of illustrationsp. viii
List of tablesp. x
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgementsp. xvi
The ancients: early chronologiesp. 1
Biblical calculationsp. 13
Models of Aristotelian infinity and sacred theories of the Earthp. 32
Falling stones, salty oceans, and evaporating waters: early empirical measurements of the age of the Earthp. 47
Thinking in layers: early ideas in stratigraphyp. 66
An infinite and cyclical Earth and religious orthodoxyp. 86
The cooling Earthp. 105
Stratigraphical laws, uniformitarianism and the development of the geological columnp. 119
'Formed stones' and their subsequent role in biostratigraphy and evolutionary theoryp. 154
The hour-glass of accumulated or denuded sedimentsp. 171
Thermodynamics and the cooling Earth revisitedp. 197
Oceanic salination reconsideredp. 210
Radioactivity: invisible geochronometersp. 227
The Universal problem and Duck Soupp. 250
Bibliographyp. 261
Indexp. 285

ISBN: 9780521813327
ISBN-10: 0521813328
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 291
Published: 1st August 2006
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.800 x 15.200  x 1.900
Weight (kg): 0.626