Potassium argon is an example of a relative dating technique

Posted by / 04-Oct-2019 20:35

Potassium argon is an example of a relative dating technique

The half-life of potassium-40 is 1.3 billion years, far longer than that of carbon-14, allowing much older samples to be dated.Potassium is common in rocks and minerals, allowing many samples of geochronological or archeological interest to be dated.An additional problem with carbon-14 dates from archeological sites is known as the "old wood" problem.It is possible, particularly in dry, desert climates, for organic materials such as from dead trees to remain in their natural state for hundreds of years before people use them as firewood or building materials, after which they become part of the archaeological record.

The date measured reveals the last time that the object was heated past the closure temperature at which the trapped argon can escape the lattice.

It cannot be used to accurately date a site on its own.

However, it can be used to confirm the antiquity of an item.

Carbon-14 moves up the food chain as animals eat plants and as predators eat other animals. It takes 5,730 years for half the carbon-14 to change to nitrogen; this is the half-life of carbon-14.

After another 5,730 years only one-quarter of the original carbon-14 will remain.

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One of the most widely used is potassium–argon dating (K–Ar dating).

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