Chapter Seven: The Clean Room
Clair Cameron Patterson, a geochemist born in Mitchellville, Iowa, was determined to calculate the age of the earth. By taking the uranium dating method used by scientists before him, he discovered that he could more accurately pinpoint a timeline by testing lead, however, there was one problem. His tests were being contaminated, and he had no idea why.
His persistence drove him to continue experimenting, eventually, creating the clean room. This room allowed him to conduct the test without contamination from the outside world and presenting the definitive age of the Earth at 4.550 billion years (give or take 70 million years).
A poster series for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Each poster is inspired by the episodes subject from which it is simplified into a single moment.