Potassium 40 dating accuracy

This flux is known as the 'J' and can be determined by the following equation: As the table above illustrates, several "undesirable" reactions occur on isotopes present within every geologic sample.These reactor produced isotopes of argon must be corrected for in order to determine an accurate age.The isotopes the KAr system relies on are Potassium (K) and Argon (Ar).Potassium, an alkali metal, the Earth's eighth most abundant element is common in many rocks and rock-forming minerals.

Due to the relatively heavy atomic weight of potassium, insignificant fractionation of the different potassium isotopes occurs.

The method most commonly used to date the primary standard is the conventional K/Ar technique.

The primary standard must be a mineral that is homogeneous, abundant and easily dated by the K/Ar and Ar methods.

Ca F is also routinely irradiated and measured to determine the Ar technique relies on ratios instead of absolute quantities, we are able to extract and measure multiple aliquots of argon from a single sample.

Multiple argon extractions can be performed on a sample in several ways.

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    The extreme measurements included one with a maximum age of under 4,400 years, and another with a minimum age of over 4,500 years.