Radioactive decay and absolute dating
First, the decay of what we now call the parent isotope is exponential.
Furthermore, the formation of the daughter isotope is exponential and inverse to the parent decay.
Wilhelm Konrad Rontgen (1845-1923) published a report in 1895, which described his discovery of a mysterious source of energy emitted by a cathode ray tube.
Early attempts at using radiometric dating are referred to as “chemical ages”.
The interest in Rontgen’s discovery would launch the second scientific revolution; the first being launched by the work of Galileo (Asimov, 1984, pp 514-515).
In 1896 Rontgen demonstrated the use of X-rays to view skeletal structure by taking a picture of the German biologist Rudolf Albert von Kolliker’s (1817-1905) hand.
Second, Pb/U ratios are a function of geologic age. Finally, as Arthur Holmes (1890-1965), a British geologist pointed out, ages obtained using these new methods were often in agreement with what many geologists had speculated (Dalrymple, 1991, pp. The fact that this new method of dating utilized empirical evidence gathered in the field and analyzed in the lab with methods based upon experimentally determined physical principles made it promising and powerful.
It soon became clear that the Earth was much older than many of the earlier methods indicated.
Search for radioactive decay and absolute dating:
They were done without knowledge of isotopes or the decay rates and intermediate products of Uranium.