Polonium Pleochroic Halos

By Jon Covey, B.A., MT(ASCP)
Edited by Anita Millen, M.D., M.P.H., M.A.

The sunburst pattern of alpha-damage trails produces a spherically colored shell in the granite crystals around the halo center.

Dr. Robert V. Gentry worked as a guest scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for twelve-and-a-half years (’69-’82) through National Science Foundation grants. Gentry’s work showed that the Earth’s granite was never in a molten condition, because polonium pleochroic halos survive only in solid rock and the half-life of polonium is much too short to survive a multimillion-year cooling time. His results seem to indicate that the Earth was created instantaneously, in a cool condition. If true, it is clear evidence for creation. Gentry documents his evidence in Creation’s Tiny Mystery, available through Earth Science Associates, Box 12067, Knoxville, TN 37912-0067 (This book contains copies of Gentry’s reports in scientific journals and an intriguing narrative about the scientific community’s response to his published findings.

When a radioactive atom decays, it emits alpha particles with a characteristic energy from its nucleus. In hard, crystalline rock, millions to billions of alpha particles are propelled in all directions through the rock’s crystal lattice a specific distance from the radiocenter, which contains the radioactive isotopes. The greater the energy, the farther the particles will travel through the rock. These alpha particles damage the surrounding rock crystals, creating discolored halos. It is possible to identify which isotope was responsible for which halo simply by looking at the fingerprint-like series of concentric spherical halos produced and measuring each halo’s radius.

Polonium has three very short-lived isotopes Polonium-218, has a half-life of 3.05 minutes, Po-214 a bare 164 microseconds, and Po-210 a longer 138.4 days. Because their half-lives are so short, they could not endure long enough to make halos if the rocks had originally been molten–or even hot, because halos persist only in stable, solidified rock. Had Gentry not discovered that there are uncountable trillions of polonium halos with no uranium sources near them, there would be no evidence that the Earth was never molten.

Not long after Gentry had published some of his results in the various scientific journals, some scientists became aware of the implications of the presence of polonium pleochroic halos not associated with uranium. They understood that any free polonium within a magma mass would have decayed away long before it cooled sufficiently to allow halo registration, although Gentry had only hinted at the implications, because he was not given the freedom to elaborate. Despite journalistic restrictions, it was fairly clear that Gentry had physical evidence contrary to modern geological theory concerning formation of the earth and its basement rocks.

Dr. Gentry further suggests that granite cannot be synthesized by any natural means, either in the laboratory or in the deep, underground batholiths and magmatic intrusions and dikes, nor in the lakes of lava cooling after volcanic eruptions. Rhyolite (granite’s chemical analog) forms instead. A few attempts have been made to synthesize granite, but none has been successful.

Helium and lead retention in zircons

During his stay at ORNL, Gentry discovered an important piece of evidence for a recent, sudden creation of the earth. He took granite drill core samples (drilled by the Department of Energy in New Mexico during the 1970s) from 3000 feet to 15,000 feet and analyzed the zircons for lead and helium concentrations. Lead and helium are both relatively loosely bound in the zircons, helium more so than lead. This means that with sufficient time and effects of temperature, lead and helium concentrations in the zircons should be depleted in predictable ways. Gentry found virtually no difference in lead concentrations and much more helium than should have been present, regardless of the depth from which the sample was taken. This was surprising since temperature increases with depth, so that the helium and radiogenic lead would be driven out of the rocks at depths of two to three miles after several billion years. Instead, the concentrations observed are consistent with a planet only thousands of years old.

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