Even under ultra high-temperature metamorphic conditions exceeding 1200°C zircon maintains its lead content accumulated during radioactive decay of uranium and thorium.
Rocks do not loose their memory during Earth history but their true ages might be distorted: even under ultra high-temperature metamorphic conditions exceeding 1200°C zircon maintains its lead content accumulated during radioactive decay of uranium and thorium.
Giga year old zircon crystals still contain lead in form of nanometre size spheres of pure lead. However, the inhomogeneous spatial distribution of the lead spheres might falsify ages determined from high-resolution Pb isotope measurement with ion probe.
Zircon is an ideal mineral for age determination of very old rocks because it is believed to be a closed system during Earth history.
Zircon geochronology thus is a standard method of geological age determination. Recently, an international group of earth scientists studied zircon from 3,4 billion years old high-temperature metamorphic rocks from Antarctica with transmission electron microscopy TEM at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences.
TEM investigations revealed that the lead from radioactive decay was not homogeneously distributed in zircon but was accumulated withinin inhomogeneously distributed Pb nano-spheres in zircon with only 5 to 30 nm in diameter.
The inhomogeneous distribution of lead in zircon might adulterate the ages measured with high-spatial resolution ion probe technique.
Monika A. Kusiak et al.: “Metallic lead nanospheres discovered in ancient zircons", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS Early Edition, 06.04.2015, DOI: doi/10.1073/pnas.1415264112
Franz Ossing | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
New insights into the ancestors of all complex life
29.05.2017 | University of Bristol
A 3-D look at the 2015 El Niño
29.05.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Scientists have developed a new method of characterizing graphene’s properties without applying disruptive electrical contacts, allowing them to investigate both the resistance and quantum capacitance of graphene and other two-dimensional materials. Researchers from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel’s Department of Physics reported their findings in the journal Physical Review Applied.
Graphene consists of a single layer of carbon atoms. It is transparent, harder than diamond and stronger than steel, yet flexible, and a significantly better...
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
30.05.2017 | Life Sciences
30.05.2017 | Life Sciences
30.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy