potassium-argon dating

[ puh-tas-ee-uhm-ahr-gon ]
/ pəˈtæs i əmˌɑr gɒn /

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.

QUIZZES

BEAT THE DOLDRUMS WITH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

We know you’ll tackle this quiz totis viribus! See how many words from the week of Oct 12–18, 2020 you get right!
Question 1 of 7
What does “Indigenous” mean?

Origin of potassium-argon dating

First recorded in 1965–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for potassium-argon dating

potassium-argon dating

noun

a technique for determining the age of minerals based on the occurrence in natural potassium of a small fixed amount of radioisotope 40 K that decays to the stable argon isotope 40 Ar with a half-life of 1.28 × 10 9 years. Measurement of the ratio of these isotopes thus gives the age of the mineralCompare radiocarbon dating, rubidium-strontium dating
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for potassium-argon dating

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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.