Libby later received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960: (From Taylor, 1987).
Today, there are over 130 radiocarbon dating laboratories around the world producing radiocarbon assays for the scientific community.
When this happens in a mineral, the two departing nuclei leave behind a trail of destruction in the crystal lattice. Fission track dating is ideal for samples from recent times back to 100,000,000 years.
Beyond 100,000,000 years, the density of the tracks becomes so great (saturated) that they cannot be counted reliably.
Carbon-14 has a relatively short half life of 5,730 years. Beyond 60,000 - 80,000 years, there is too little Carbon-14 left in the sample and this technique cannot be used.
U nuclei undergo fission and the nucleus splits to form two smaller but very energetic nuclei that move away from each other.
Lyell's extreme form of uniformitarianism would have required a perfect balance between heat production and heat loss.
Isotope: A version of an atom that differs from other atoms of the same element only in the number of neutrons.
The quantitative approach is admirable, but Buffon's assumptions are flawed. Silicate minerals have lower heat conductivity than steels and are better insulators leading to slower cooling rates.
Second, the calculations did not incorporate the heating effects of radioactive decay.
The radiocarbon method was developed by a team of scientists led by the late Professor Willard F.
Libby of the University of Chicago in immediate post-WW2 years.