Skip to comments.'Faster-ticking clock' indicates early solar system may have evolved faster than we think
Posted on 05/03/2012 3:05:41 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Our solar system is four and a half billion years old, but its formation may have occurred over a shorter period of time than we previously thought, says an international team of researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and universities and laboratories in the US and Japan.
Establishing chronologies of past events or determining ages of objects require having clocks that tick at different paces, according to how far back one looks. Nuclear clocks, used for dating, are based on the rate of decay of an atomic nucleus expressed by a half-life, the time it takes for half of a number of nuclei to decay, a property of each nuclear species.
Radiocarbon dating for example, invented in Chicago in the late 1940s and refined ever since, can date artifacts back to prehistoric times because the half-life of radiocarbon (carbon-14) is a few thousand years. The evaluation of ages of the history of earth or of the solar system requires extremely "slow-paced" chronometers consisting of nuclear clocks with much longer half-lives. The activity of one of these clocks, known as nucleus samarium-146 (146Sm), was examined by Michael Paul, the Kalman and Malke Cooper Professor of Nuclear Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as researchers from the University of Notre Dame and the Argonne National Laboratory in the US and from two Japanese universities.
146Sm belongs to a family of nuclear species which were "live" in our sun and its solar system when they were born. Events thereafter, and within a few hundred million years, are dated by the amount of 146Sm that was left in various mineral archives until its eventual "extinction."
146Sm has become the main tool for establishing the time evolution of the solar system over its first few hundred million years. This by itself owes to a delicate geochemical property of the element samarium, a rare element in nature. It is a sensitive probe for the separation, or differentiation, of the silicate portion of earth and of other planetary bodies.
The main result of the work of the international scientists, detailed in a recent article in the journal Science, is a new determination of the half-life of 146Sm, previously adopted as 103 million years, to a much shorter value of 68 million years. The shorter half-life value, like a clock ticking faster, has the effect of shrinking the assessed chronology of events in the early solar system and in planetary differentiation into a shorter time span.
The new time scale, interestingly, is now consistent with a recent and precise dating made on a lunar rock and is in better agreement with the dating obtained with other chronometers.
The measurement of the half-life of 146Sm, performed over several years by the collaborators, involved the use of the ATLAS particle accelerator at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.
Provided by Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Some questions come to mind as I read this article:
How many published papers are affected by this change?
Papers often quote radiometric dates to 4 or more significant figures. Theorists rely on these values.
If values are not discovered but adopted, is it possible there was motivation by theorists to adopt a different value to create consistency with other chronometers?
Does the new value make the assessed chronology of events in the early system more or less plausible?
What will be the ripple effect from here on for a chronometer that ticks 33% faster than previously thought?
Who will go back and correct theories based on the previous value?
Here we go.
After that, other clocks that are easier to read become available.
Want some popcorn? :) /popcorn
Evolutionists are not going to be happy...
Thanks . . . I'll wait a bit. ( ^8 }
I think you understand correctly. It specifically affects theories that involve separations of materials, as the article says. The actual age of the solar system is pretty well established. For instance rock ages on earth are measured by looking at Uranium and its decay products. These half-lives are quite accurately known and not in question.
None of this affects anything as recent as the development of life. It Has zero impact on TOE
This makes my head hurt.
Doesn't General Relativity predict that any clock in a gravitational field will run slow? Thus, any clock in the vicinity of the big bang will run slow?
How's anything going to get done if it takes forever for a clock to tick? To an observer external to this nearly infinite gravitational field, isn't it going to appear that nothing happens for a very long time?
When it is stated that the universe is, say, twenty billion years old, just whose clock are they using? Are there any Freeper cosmologists who can summarize twenty billion years for me?
The gravitational forces in our solar system are very week, and therefore general relativistic corrections are parts in a million or much less than that. They can be measured only with the most precise and stable atomic clocks.
Thanks for the ping!
Cool! I read about this in the future.
“The formation of the solar system came long long after the big bang”
Spirited: In other words, before all else there was a void (nothingness) out of which emerged self-created primordial matter, the beginning of all things, a cosmic egg.
Circling the cosmic egg was Chronos (Time) who split the egg apart (big bang)to form the universe of earth, sea, sky, and life.
In Darwin’s tale, the cosmic egg was lain upon primordial waters of the earth.
Returning to the big bang version, that Chronos split apart the cosmic egg is evidenced by “The presence of heavy elements...” that show “...that we are a later generation development - condensed out of (hatched out of) the remnants of earlier supernovae explosions.”
Now either the living, personal supernatural God IS, and He called all things into existence from nothing (creatio ex nihilo) or primordial matter (cosmic egg) spontaneously generated itself from nothing (void, abyss) after which all things and life evolved (hatched) over Time (Chronos) into what they are today.
Here you ask a very good and very deep question. It is "our" clock transformed into a fictive clock that is extrapolated at its present ticking rate back in time to when the big bang had to have occurred past upon the measured separation rates of galaxies. It assumes that "our clock" would have remained in a weak gravitational field the entire time. What it means to extrapolate into the high gravitational fiedl at the time the big bang occurred is a hard philosophical question.
Paging Ken Ham, paging Ken Ham.
Why is God having created the egg not allowed?
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