Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 33 - Think and Explain: 41

Answer

Radioactive decay is a source of energy that can warm the Earth for billions of years.

Work Step by Step

Lord Kelvin estimated that the Earth formed as a molten ball, and figured the time it would take to cool to the now-observed surface temperature. His estimate of tens to hundreds of millions of years did not take radioactive decay into account.
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