The discovery of the 238U decay chain, of course, started with the seminal work of Marie Curie in identifying and separating 226Ra. Through the work of the Curies and others, all the members of the 238U decay chain were identified. An important milestone for geochronometrists was the discovery of 230Th (called Ionium) by Bertram Boltwood, the Yale scientist who also made the first age determinations on minerals using the U-Pb dating method (Boltwood in 1906 established the antiquity of rocks and even identified a mineral from Sri Lanka-then Ceylon as having an age of 2.1 billion...

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