Chronological Methods 9 - Potassium-Argon Dating Potassium-Argon Dating Potassium-Argon dating is the only viable technique for dating very old archaeological materials. Geologists have used this method to date rocks as much as 4 billion years old. It is based on the fact that some of the radioactive isotope of Potassium, Potassium-40 K-40 ,decays to the gas Argon as Argon-40 Ar-40. By comparing the proportion of K-40 to Ar-40 in a sample of volcanic rock, and knowing the decay rate of K-40, the date that the rock formed can be determined. How Does the Reaction Work? Potassium K is one of the most abundant elements in the Earth's crust 2. One out of every 10,000 Potassium atoms is radioactive Potassium-40 K-40.
[GOOGLEFREETEXTUNIQ-25]Atomic number, atomic mass, and isotopes Video transcript We know that an element is defined by the number of protons it has. For example, potassium. We look at the periodic table of elements.
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Andrew Alden is a geologist who writes extensively about all aspects of geology, and leads research expeditions for professional organizations. Updated January 31, 2019 The potassium-argon K-Ar isotopic dating method is especially useful for determining the age of lavas. Developed in the 1950s, it was important in developing the theory of plate tectonics and in calibrating the geologic time scale. Potassium-40 decays with a half-life of 1250 million years, meaning that half of the 40K atoms are gone after that span of time.
when was potassium-argon dating invented
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