Professor Claude Allegre ForMemRS
Claude Allègre is a geochemist whose innovative radioactive dating techniques have given us a better understanding of the Earth’s rocky outer layers — its mantle and crust. He pioneered the use of the decay of rhenium-187 to osmium, now widely used to date the mantle underneath continents. By using his techniques to analyse meteorites, Claude has also provided important insights into the make-up of the early Solar System.
Radioactive dating compares the relative concentrations in rocks of radioactive elements and the ones into which they decay. Many of these elements — such as argon and xenon — are very rare. Claude developed instruments that set new standards of sensitivity and precision.
In 1986, Claude was a joint recipient of the Crafoord Prize for geology, and in 1994 he won the Gold Medal of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. As well as his research career, Claude has also served as a minister for education in the French government.
Interest and expertise
- Earth and environmental sciences