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Extremely rare isotope metrology @ SUERC (lecture)

Thursday, 9 March 2017
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Category:
Lecture Theatre, Gregory Building
c/o School of Geographical & Earth Sciences
Glasgow, Glasgow City G12 8QQ United Kingdom

Dr Derek Fabel, University of Glasgow

Precise and accurate measurement of isotopes in minerals and rocks is key to understanding the Earth. Radiometric dating is the principal source of information about the absolute age of rocks and other geological features, or the age of the Earth itself, and together with stratigraphic principles, has been fundamental in establishing the geological time scale. Stable isotope analysis supports research in applied minerals, geological hazards, environmental change, pollution, hydrology, human-landscape interactions, and biological evolution. The procedures used to isolate and analyse isotopes involves isotope ratio mass spectrometry in a variety of forms depending on the isotopic system being utilised. Radiocarbon and surface exposure dating rely on being able to measure the abundance of extremely rare radioisotopes in the sample material using a technique called accelerator mass spectrometry. This presentation will take you behind the scene of extremely rare isotope metrology at SUERC (Scottish Universities Environment Research Centre) to illustrate the complexity and effort involved in making these types of measurements.