Argon dating potassium ppt
If the rate of radioactive decay has changed over time, the formula will not give correct dates.Most scientists believe that the rate of potassium-argon decay has not changed over the history of the earth.
Archaeologists and biologists are also sometimes able to use potassium-argon dating to measure the age of artifacts and fossils, when these have become trapped in or buried under volcanic rock.The mathematical formula that is used to figure the age of the rock depends on the half-life of potassium-40 (the time it takes for half the potassium-40 in a given sample to decay).The half-live of potassium-40 is approximately 1.26 billion years (that is, 1.26x10 years).Obviously, this formula depends on the laws of physics remaining constant over time.But after the rock solidifies, any potassium-40 that is present continues to decay, and the argon-40 that is produced cannot escape from the rock.Thus, geologists use potassium-argon dating to measure the age of volcanic rocks.
If the concentration of argon-40 is almost zero, then the rock was formed recently.
If it is high relative to the amount of potassium-40 present, then the rock is old.
Potassium-argon dating is a method for estimating the age of volcanic rocks by measuring the ratio of potassium-40 to argon-40 present.
The method is based on the fact that the potassium-40 isotope of potassium decays over time to form argon-40.
The useful fact about these two substances is that at normal temperatures, potassium is a solid, but argon is a gas.
Therefore, during volcanic eruptions, any argon that is present escapes from the rock.