potassium-argon dating

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potassium-argon dating

n
(General Physics) a technique for determining the age of minerals based on the occurrence in natural potassium of a small fixed amount of radioisotope 40K that decays to the stable argon isotope 40Ar with a half-life of 1.28 × 109 years. Measurement of the ratio of these isotopes thus gives the age of the mineral. Compare radiocarbon dating, rubidium-strontium dating

potas′sium-ar′gon dat`ing


n.
a method for estimating the age of a mineral or rock, based on measurement of the rate of decay of radioactive potassium into argon.
[1965–70]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.potassium-argon dating - geological dating that relies on the proportions of radioactive potassium in a rock sample and its decay product, argon
dating, geological dating - use of chemical analysis to estimate the age of geological specimens