Absolute dating vs relative dating fossils starbucks dating policy
Sedimentary rocks are rarely useful for dating because they are made up of bits of older rocks.
The older method required two samples for dating and could produce imprecise dates if the argon was not fully extracted.
This newer method converts a stable form of potassium (potassium-39) into argon-39.
Measuring the proportions of argon-39 and argon-40 within a sample allows the age of the sample to be determined.
This form of uranium usually decays into a stable lead isotope but the uranium atoms can also split – a process known as fission.
During this process the pieces of the atom move apart at high speed, causing damage to the rock or mineral.
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Argon is gas that gradually builds up within rocks from the decay of radioactive potassium.