Radioactive Deep Time

Radioactive Deep Time
When we think of radioactive science, it's hard not to focus on its impact on modern advancements. New technology, powerful energy, and destructive weapons all come to mind. Radioactivity wasn't just a product of the future though. The work of scientists like Marie Curie would become a beacon of light into the deep time of our planet as well.

At the end of the 19th century, it wasn't easy to put an accurate date on the planet. Scientists knew humans had been around a long time and that Earth had been around even longer. The true numerical scale wasn't attainable though, as the process of dating items was more a historical pursuit than a scientific one. Objects could be determined to predate human history, but the exact age wasn't possible to find.

Radioactivity changed all that. The energy discovered wasn't impressive just for its power, but for its longevity too. Material with millions of years of half lives put into perspective just how long the planet had been turning. Humankind had only just begun its journey compared to the age of the Earth. The effect this discovery had on scientific thought, art, and culture is incredible as the world was filled with a renewed optimism for the vast future that now laid before it.

You can read more about the impact this discovery had in this incredible article from the BBC!