Clair C. Patterson (1922–1995)
Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
©1996. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union
Volume 77, Issue 32, page 306, 6 August 1996
How to Cite
1996), Clair C. Patterson (1922–1995), Eos Trans. AGU, 77(32), 306–306, doi:10.1029/96EO00216.(
- Issue published online: 3 JUN 2011
- Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
- Cited By
Clair C. (Pat) Patterson, 73, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Sea Ranch, Calif., on December, 5, 1995. Pat left behind one of the most prolific and influential legacies, not only in geochemistry, but in environmental biogeochemistry as well. In geochemistry, he is best known for first establishing the true age of the Earth and solar system at 4.6 billion years, a date the accuracy of which has survived four decades. This inherently accurate geochronology arose from Pat's development of stable lead isotope techniques clean enough to overcome contaminated and erroneous results of earlier workers. This allowed him to further develop lead isotope systematics for divulging the evolution of the crust and mantle.