Halloween public lectures 1: Radio-isotopes and the age of the Earth

Posted by mjs76 at Oct 25, 2011 04:20 PM |
Visiting geochemist delivers public lecture on ‘Deep Time’ next Monday.

On Monday 31 October the University of Leicester offers an eclectic triple bill of public lectures which will not only educate and inform you but will also save you the trouble of constantly answering the door to children demanding sweets.

The evening kicks off at 4.00pm with a lecture jointly organised by our Department of Geology and the British Geological Survey. Dr Janne Blichert-Toft is Director of Research at the CNRS Laboratoire de Geologie in Lyon, will speak on ‘Deep time: What isotope geochemistry has taught us about Earth’s early evolution?’

The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique is the largest scientific research agency in Europe with more than 26,000 staff split across ten institutes covering every conceivable aspect of both natural and social sciences from phonetics to photons.

Dr Blichert-Toft studied at the University of Copenhagen and has been based at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon (ENSL) since the 1990s where her research interests include radiogenic isotopes with applications to geochronology, terrestrial and planetary mantle-crust evolution and mantle dynamics, early Earth geodynamics, planetology, cosmochemistry, and meteoritics. She serves on numerous committees, has published more than 100 papers and last year she was elected Geochemistry Fellow by the Geochemical Society and the European Association for Geochemistry.

In her talk, Dr Blichert-Toft will discuss how radioactive isotopes can be used to date the ancient history of our planet – in a way that should be accessible to those of us who don’t specialise in isotope geochemistry. Drawing on her own research and that of her students in Lyon, she will discuss current estimated dates for the birth of the Solar System, the formation of the Earth, the creation of the Earth’s core, the giant impact which is believed to have created the Moon, the formation of the first continents and the start of plate tectonics.

The lecture, which is free and open to all, takes place in the Bennett Building Lecture Theatre 1 from 4.00pm on Monday 31 October 2011. It will be introduced by Professor John Ludden, Director of the British Geological Survey and Visiting Professor here at the University of Leicester. For more information contact Gail Andrews, geology@le.ac.uk, 0116 252 3921.

Why not make a night of it by staying on campus for lectures on 1950s Hollywood at 5.30pm and atmospheric chemistry at 6.30pm?

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