Paper $40.00 ISBN: 9780226080437 Published May 1990
E-book $7.00 to $32.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226080260 Published May 2009

Lord Kelvin and the Age of the Earth

Joe D. Burchfield

Lord Kelvin and the Age of the Earth
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Joe D. Burchfield

278 pages | frontispiece | © 1975
Paper $40.00 ISBN: 9780226080437 Published May 1990
E-book $7.00 to $32.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226080260 Published May 2009
Burchfield charts the enormous impact made by Lord Kelvin's application of thermodynamic laws to the question of the earth's age and the heated debate his ideas sparked among British Victorian physicists, astronomers, geologists, and biologists.

"Anyone interested in geologic time, and that should include all geologists and a fair smattering of biologists, physicists and chemists, should make Burchfield's commendable and time-tested volume part of their personal library"—Brent Darymple, Quartely Review of Biology
Contents
Preface
I. Introduction
Historical Background
Measuring the Age of the Earth
References
II. Kelvin and the Physics of Time
Preliminary Speculations
Time and Thermodynamics
The Later Arguments
The Age of the Earth and the Laws of Nature
References
III. Kelvin's Influence: The Initial Reception
Converts and Opponents
Kelvin, Darwin, and Wallace
The Kelvin-Huxley Debate
References
IV. The Triumph of Limited Time
Geology and the Measurement of Time
Physics and the Limitation of Time
References
V. Opposition and Controversy
Growing Discontent
The Challenge
The Loyal Opposition
A Biological Postscript
References
VI. Radioactivity and the Age of the Earth
Kelvin Overthrown: Radioactive Heating
Radioactive Dating
Geological Reaction
The Expansion of the Time Scale
The Report of the National Research Council
References
VII. Conclusion
Afterword
Bibliography
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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