Potassium argon radioactive dating

So potassium-argon is the least stable commonly-used dating method.Most of the things that upset K-Ar dating, like slow escape of Ar atoms, weathering, or heating, make ages too young by resetting the clock.Second, the resulting argon atoms are merely mechanically trapped in the crystal lattice, not bonded in any way.That means even minor mechanical disturbance, like heating, can allow them to escape.The discovery of by the French physicist, Henri Becquerel, in 1896 paved the way of measuring absolute time.

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These each have 19 protons and 21 neutrons in their nucleus.Any alteration or fracturing means that the potassium or the argon or both have been disturbed.The site also must be geologically meaningful, clearly related to fossil-bearing rocks or other features that need a good date to join the big story.The others decay to Ca-40, which is the only natural isotope of calcium.The correction is simple: multiply the number of argon atoms by 9 to find the total number of potassium atoms that decayed.

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