potassium-argon dating

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potassium-argon dating

(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

a method for estimating the age of a mineral or rock, based on measurement of the rate of decay of radioactive potassium into argon.
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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
References in periodicals archive ?
One technique, potassium-argon dating, determines the age of a rock sample by measuring how much argon gas it contains.
1966: Potassium-Argon dating by activation with fast neutrons.--J.
Students should be able to date their fossil using both relative and absolute dating, communicate the constraints and requirements of each method, and describe how and why potassium-argon dating of volcanic ash works.

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