Erratum for "The Age of Everything"
In the acknowledgments, it should be the Kavli Institute for
In chapter 4, page 59, the sentence "Each time an
atom of carbon-14 decays it emits an electron, which can be
detected if it passes through a Geiger Counter." should actually say
"...which can be detected if it passes through a device like a Geiger
counter." While Libby and colleagues did use modified Geiger counters to
detect the decay of carbon-14, these days gas proportional counters and
liquid scintillation counters are often used instead.
In chapter 8 (also in the glossary and the index) the fossil mammal group
zalambdalestid is misspelled as zalambalestid.
In chapter 9, page 156, the statement that "the chondrule must have
solidified a little over 1.5 million years after the CAI did" should be
"the chondrule must have solidified a little under 1.5 million years
after the CAI did"
In Dr. Gribbin's review of the book for the Independent, he
states that my "description of starbirth .... is just plain wrong". I
believe that this criticism refers to a couple of paragraphs on pages
172-173 of Chapter 10, where I attempt to explain how nuclear fusion can
occur naturally in the centers of massive stars. In this context, I asked
the reader to consider a simple thought experiment where a collection of
hydrogen atoms collapse under their own gravity. I did not intend to
imply here that this was a realistic model of star formation, instead I
simply wanted to illustrate of how gravitational and nuclear forces can
naturally reach a state of equilibrium. To make this clear, I probably
should have included some statement like: "Note that real stars almost
certainly were not formed in such a smooth and straightforward manner,
but this simple picture demonstrates how the nuclear reactions in the
core of star and the star's own gravity can balance each other."