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potassium-argon dating

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

First recorded in 1965–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for potassium-argon dating

potassium-argon dating

noun
  1. 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
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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

potassium-argon dating in Science

potassium-argon dating

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