Potassium-argon dating

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A dating method for minerals based on the measurement of the ratio of radioactive potassium to radioactive argon. Radioactive potassium decays to form radioactive argon at a known rate. Argon is rare since it can readily escape to the atmosphere. Thus, its presence in a freshly opened stones is assumed to be due to the decay of potassium. The age of meteorites and volcanic stones are measured by this method.

Resources and Citations

  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998