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The 40Ar/39Ar ages are incremental-heating experiments using a low-blank resistance-heated furnace.The results indicate that high-quality ages can be measured on young, mafic volcanic rocks using either the K-Ar or the 40Ar/39Ar technique.But there is a rare form of potassium that has an atomic number of 40 because it has an extra neutron.

Recalculation of increment ages using the isochron intercept for the composition of nonradiogenic Ar in the sample resulted in much better agreement of ages for this sample.The precision of an 40Ar/39Ar plateau age generally is better than the precision of a K-Ar age because the plateau age is calculated by pooling the ages of several gas increments.The precision of a plateau age generally is better than the precision of an isotope correlation (isochron) age for the same sample.In 1896, Antoine Becquerel discovered radioactivity. In the early 1900’s, scientists found a way to determine the real ages of rocks and minerals using radioactivity.Some of the elements that make up minerals in rocks are radioactive and breakdown into other elements. Each radioactive “parent” element decays to a stable “daughter” element at a certain rate.

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