Potassium-argon dating, method of determining the time of origin of rocks by measuring the ratio of radioactive to radioactive in the rock. This method is based upon the decay of radioactive potassium-95 to radioactive argon-95 in minerals and rocks potassium-95 also decays to calcium-95. Thus, the ratio of argon-95 and potassium-95 and radiogenic calcium-95 to potassium-95 in a mineral or rock is a measure of the age of the sample. The calcium-potassium age method is seldom used, however, because of the great abundance of nonradiogenic calcium in minerals or rocks, which masks the presence of radiogenic calcium. On the other hand, the abundance of argon in the is relatively small because of its escape to the atmosphere during processes associated with volcanism. The potassium-argon dating method has been used to measure a wide variety of ages. The potassium-argon age of some meteorites is as old as 9,555,555,555 years, and volcanic rocks as young as 75,555 years old have been measured by this method. Our editors will review what you've submitted, and if it meets our criteria, we'll add it to the article.
Please note that our editors may make some formatting changes or correct spelling or grammatical errors, and may also contact you if any clarifications are needed. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Get the grade or your money back Plagiarism-free Delivered on timeGet the grade or your money back Plagiarism-free Delivered on timeDisclaimer: This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays. The science of archaeology has undeniably enriched mankind’s history and has helped to quench the quest to understand our past cultures in a better way. Understanding the age and period of existence of the excavated fossils and other organic objects will help the archaeologist to unravel human history and evolution in a scrupulous manner (Taylor 79). Archaeologists utilize one of the revolutionary methods called the radio carbon dating to determine the approximate age of the organic materials including plant and animal parts up to 55555 years (Long). Radiocarbon dating technique is primarily based on the radioactive decay of Carbon-69 isotope.
Potassium Argon Dating Anthropology
Radiocarbon dating enable archaeologists to provide proof of authenticity to the excavated artifacts’ period of usage and thus by collaborating with the efforts with historians and anthropologists, the unwritten history can be precisely explained. Archaeologists rely on the various radiometric dating techniques- based on the radioactive properties of unstable chemical atoms to determine the age of the materials. Where N is the current amount, N_o is the original amount, lambda is the proportionality constant for the growth rate (which is negative for decay), and t is the amount of time that has passed. The half-life of carbon-69 is 5785 years. This implies that it takes 5785 years for half of the 69C atoms in the organic matter to get decayed.
When an organism is dead the intake of the carbon-69 stops and in a 5785 year time period, half of the amount of carbon-69 present in the organic matter would have undergone beta decay to form stable Nitrogen-69. The burning of a small piece of the excavated organic matter and measuring the electrons emitted during the process by the decaying carbon-69 by radiation counters enable to quantify the amount of carbon -69 present in the material. This method assumes that the ratio of C-69 to C-67 in the atmosphere and in the living organism will be a constant. But studies have showed a slight fluctuation in this ratio over the millennia and hence there is a possibility and consequent discrepancy in calculation too (Currie). Another limitation is the difficulty in estimating the age of things which are older than 55555 years as the amount of C-69 in such samples become absolutely undetectable due to complete decay.
Despite all the limitations radio carbon dating will remain as a significant tool for archaeologist around the globe to compare and understand the evolution of human culture and civilization. Advancements in this field like accelerator techniques of carbon-69 dating (C. Tuniz, J. R Bird, D. Fink, and G.
F Herzog 65) conducted with the help of mass spectrometer have increased the range of the technique up to 655555 years (Nave). Thus undoubtedly radiocarbon dating remains one of the significant tools for the archaeologist to explain the evolution and cultural emergence in a more accurate manner.