The University of Chicagos Nicolas Dauphas has developed a new way to calculate the age of the Milky Way that is free of the unvalidated assumptions that have plagued previous methods. Dauphas method, which he reports in the June 29 issue of the journal Nature, can now be used to tackle other mysteries of the cosmos that have remained unsolved for decades.
"Age determinations are crucial to a fundamental understanding of the universe," said Thomas Rauscher, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Basel in Switzerland. "The wide range of implications is what makes Nicolas work so exciting and important."
Dauphas, an Assistant Professor in Geophysical Sciences, operates the Origins Laboratory at the University of Chicago. His wide-ranging interests include the origins of Earths atmosphere, the oldest rocks that may contain evidence for life on Earth and what meteorites reveal about the formation of the solar system.
Steve Koppes | EurekAlert!
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