Archaeology potassium argon dating
Whenever the worldview of evolution is questioned, this topic always comes up.Let me first explain how carbon dating works and then show you the assumptions it is based on.
This energy converts about 21 pounds of nitrogen into radioactive carbon 14.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.K is related to the time elapsed since the rock was cool enough to trap the Ar. A problem with K-Ar dating is that if there is heterogeneity in the sample, then the aliquots used for determining K concentrations and Ar abundances may have different K/Ar. Argon-argon dating is a similar technique which measures the isotopic content of the same sample, so this problem can be avoided.Due to the long half-life, the technique is most applicable for dating minerals and rocks 100,000 years old.This radioactive carbon 14 slowly decays back into normal, stable nitrogen.
Extensive laboratory testing has shown that about half of the C-14 molecules will decay in 5730 years. After another 5730 years half of the remaining C-14 will decay leaving only ¼ of the original C-14. In theory it would never totally disappear, but after about 5 half lives the difference is not measurable with any degree of accuracy.
This is why most people say carbon dating is only good for objects less than 40,000 years old.
Although it finds the most utility in geological applications, it plays an important role in archaeology.
One archeological application has been in bracketing the age of archeological deposits at Olduvai Gorge by dating lava flows above and below the deposits.
It has also been indispensable in other early east African sites with a history of volcanic activity such as Hadar, Ethiopia.
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. 1979, 1986 © Harper Collins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Cite This Source 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.