What is the k ar dating method senior catholic dating sites

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The reader should be thoroughly familiar with the K-Ar method, as explained in the previous article, before reading any further.

In the previous article I introduced you to K is a stable isotope of potassium, which by definition means that it will not spontaneously undergo decay into another isotope.

Due to the relatively heavy atomic weight of potassium, insignificant fractionation of the different potassium isotopes occurs.

However, the Argon, a noble gas, constitutes approximately 0.1-5% of the Earth's present day atmosphere.

However, if you put it near the core of a nuclear reactor, so that it is bombarded by neutrons, then this will convert it into Ar.

This isotope of argon is quite unstable, having a half-life of only 269 years.

In the first place, recall that one of the potential problems with the K-Ar method is that it requires two different samples, one to measure the potassium and the other to measure the argon; if the two samples had different chemical compositions when they first formed then this will introduce an error.

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However, there are advantages to this more complex method.

If we don't get the same date at each step, then we may be able to work out what's going on.

For example, if the date increases at each step, then we are quite possibly looking at a slow-cooling igneous rock in which different minerals crystallized out of the magma at different times, a possibility we can investigate further.

Now the bad news is that there is no way we can somehow manipulate this data to give us a correct date for the sample.

But the good news is that we do know that there's a problem; whereas if we'd analyzed the same rock using the K-Ar method, then it would have supplied us with a date and there'd have been no sign in the K-Ar data of anything wrong with it.

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