potassiumargon dating

potassium-argon dating

[puh-tas-ee-uhm-ahr-gon]
noun Geology.
a method for estimating the age of a mineral or rock, based on measurement of the rate of decay of radioactive potassium into argon.

Origin:
1965–70

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World English Dictionary
potassium-argon dating
 
n
radiocarbon dating Compare rubidium-strontium dating 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

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
potassium-argon dating  
A method of radiometric dating, involving analysis of the ratio of potassium 40 (a radioactive isotope of potassium) to argon (the product of radioactive decay of potassium 40) in a given sample.
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