Nature’s Clocks: How Scientists Measure the Age of Almost Everything

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9780520261617: Nature’s Clocks: How Scientists Measure the Age of Almost Everything
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"Radioactivity is like a clock that never needs adjusting," writes Doug Macdougall. "It would be hard to design a more reliable timekeeper." In Nature's Clocks, Macdougall tells how scientists who were seeking to understand the past arrived at the ingenious techniques they now use to determine the age of objects and organisms. By examining radiocarbon (C-14) dating—the best known of these methods—and several other techniques that geologists use to decode the distant past, Macdougall unwraps the last century's advances, explaining how they reveal the age of our fossil ancestors such as "Lucy," the timing of the dinosaurs' extinction, and the precise ages of tiny mineral grains that date from the beginning of the earth's history. In lively and accessible prose, he describes how the science of geochronology has developed and flourished. Relating these advances through the stories of the scientists themselves—James Hutton, William Smith, Arthur Holmes, Ernest Rutherford, Willard Libby, and Clair Patterson—Macdougall shows how they used ingenuity and inspiration to construct one of modern science's most significant accomplishments: a timescale for the earth's evolution and human prehistory.

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"A lucid and engaging account of the scientific revolution that changed the way we think about our planet and ourselves."—James Lawrence Powell, author of Grand Canyon and Mysteries of Terra Firma

About the Author:

Doug Macdougall is Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, and currently resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is the author of Frozen Earth: The Once and Future Story of Ice Ages (UC Press, 2004) and A Short History of Planet Earth.

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Radioactivity is like a clock that never needs adjusting, writes Doug Macdougall. It would be hard to design a more reliable timekeeper. In Nature s Clocks , Macdougall tells how scientists who were seeking to understand the past arrived at the ingenious techniques they now use to determine the age of objects and organisms. By examining radiocarbon (C-14) dating - the best known of these methods - and several other techniques that geologists use to decode the distant past, Macdougall unwraps the last century s advances, explaining how they reveal the age of our fossil ancestors such as Lucy, the timing of the dinosaurs extinction, and the precise ages of tiny mineral grains that date from the beginning of the earth s history. In lively and accessible prose, he describes how the science of geochronology has developed and flourished. Relating these advances through the stories of the scientists themselves - James Hutton, William Smith, Arthur Holmes, Ernest Rutherford, Willard Libby, and Clair Patterson - Macdougall shows how they used ingenuity and inspiration to construct one of modern science s most significant accomplishments: a timescale for the earth s evolution and human prehistory. Seller Inventory # AAU9780520261617

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Radioactivity is like a clock that never needs adjusting, writes Doug Macdougall. It would be hard to design a more reliable timekeeper. In Nature s Clocks , Macdougall tells how scientists who were seeking to understand the past arrived at the ingenious techniques they now use to determine the age of objects and organisms. By examining radiocarbon (C-14) dating - the best known of these methods - and several other techniques that geologists use to decode the distant past, Macdougall unwraps the last century s advances, explaining how they reveal the age of our fossil ancestors such as Lucy, the timing of the dinosaurs extinction, and the precise ages of tiny mineral grains that date from the beginning of the earth s history. In lively and accessible prose, he describes how the science of geochronology has developed and flourished. Relating these advances through the stories of the scientists themselves - James Hutton, William Smith, Arthur Holmes, Ernest Rutherford, Willard Libby, and Clair Patterson - Macdougall shows how they used ingenuity and inspiration to construct one of modern science s most significant accomplishments: a timescale for the earth s evolution and human prehistory. Seller Inventory # AAU9780520261617

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Book Description University of California Press, 2009. Condition: New. 2009. 0th Edition. Paperback. Tells how scientists who were seeking to understand the past arrived at the ingenious techniques they now use to determine the age of objects and organisms. This book shows how scientists used ingenuity and inspiration to construct one of modern science's most significant accomplishments: a timescale for the earth's evolution and human prehistory. Num Pages: 288 pages, 14 b/w photographs, 12 line illustrations, 1 map. BIC Classification: RBGF; WN. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 223 x 145 x 15. Weight in Grams: 374. . . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780520261617

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Book Description University of California Press. Condition: New. 2009. 0th Edition. Paperback. Tells how scientists who were seeking to understand the past arrived at the ingenious techniques they now use to determine the age of objects and organisms. This book shows how scientists used ingenuity and inspiration to construct one of modern science's most significant accomplishments: a timescale for the earth's evolution and human prehistory. Num Pages: 288 pages, 14 b/w photographs, 12 line illustrations, 1 map. BIC Classification: RBGF; WN. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 223 x 145 x 15. Weight in Grams: 374. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9780520261617

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