Abstract

A new method of fitting a straight line to experimental points with correlated errors has been used to recalculate the age of the solar system using several different radioactive decay systems. It is shown that the possibility of correlated errors should not be neglected in evaluating the errors in the slope of a straight line fitted to experimental points. It is also shown that in spite of the large body of data now available, the usually accepted value of about 4550 ± 50 m.y. is the best that can be justified by the data. Most of the uncertainty seems to be experimental in origin and could probably be substantially reduced by careful application of presently available experimental techniques.

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