Because of the energy scales involved, this is a very good assumption, though the Applications Due to the long half-life, the technique is most applicable for dating minerals and rocks more than 100,000 years old.K-Ar dating was instrumental in the development of the geomagnetic polarity time scale.

Stratigraphy provides relative dates by indicating that one layer is older or younger than another.

.] The quickly cooled lavas that make nearly ideal samples for K-Ar dating also preserve a record of the direction and intensity of the local magnetic field as the sample cooled past the Curie temperature of iron.

Developed in the 1950s, it was important in develping plate tectonics and in calibrating the geologic time scale.

Potassium occurs in two stable isotopes (Ar atoms trapped inside minerals.

Lava flows that lie above and below rock beds with ancient human fossils are a good—and true—example.

The mineral sanidine, the high-temperature form of potassium feldspar, is the most desirable.

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The potassium-argon (K-Ar) isotopic dating method is especially useful for determining the age of lavas.

The selected size fraction is cleaned in ultrasound and acid baths, then gently oven-dried.

The target mineral is separated using heavy liquids, then hand-picked under the microscope for the purest possible sample.

A deficiency of 40Ar in a sample of a known age can indicate a full or partial melt in the thermal history of the area.