What is potassium argon dating used for

Potassium-argon or K-Ar dating is a geochronological method used in many geoscience disciplines.It is based on measuring the products of the radioactive decay of potassium (K), which is a common element found in materials such as micas, clay minerals, tephra and evaporites.

Given isotopes are useful for dating over a range from a fraction of their half life to about four or five times their half life.This is consistent with the assumption that each decay event is independent and its chance does not vary over time.where is the half-life of the element, is the time expired since the sample contained the initial number atoms of the nuclide, and is the remaining amount of the nuclide.Although the time at which any individual atom will decay cannot be forecast, the time in which any given percentage of a sample will decay can be calculated to varying degrees of accuracy.The time that it takes for half of a sample to decay is known as the half life of the isotope.

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of grains between top and bottom is always proportional to the time elapsed.

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