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and the ages of fossil hominids, molecular dating and divergence times for mammalian lineages, meteorites and the age of the solar system, and the use of color-magnitude diagrams for assessing ages of collections of stars.The isotopes the KAr system relies on are Potassium (K) and Argon (Ar).
The monitoring of the interfering reactions is performed through the use of laboratory salts and glasses.Multiple argon extractions can be performed on a sample in several ways.Step-heating is the most common way and involves either a furnace or a laser to uniformily heat the sample to evolve argon.Laser probes also allow multiple ages to be determined on a single sample aliquot, but do so using accurate and precise spatial control.For example, laser spot sizes of 100 microns or less allow a user to extract multiple argon samples from across a small mica or feldspar grain.Potassium, an alkali metal, the Earth's eighth most abundant element is common in many rocks and rock-forming minerals.
The quantity of potassium in a rock or mineral is variable proportional to the amount of silica present.Because it is present within the atmosphere, every rock and mineral will have some quantity of Argon.Argon can mobilized into or out of a rock or mineral through alteration Ar and potassium, there is not a reliable way to determine if the assumptions are valid.Because the J value is extrapolated from a standard to an unknown, the accuracy and precision on that J value is critical.J value uncertainty can be minimized by constraining the geometry of the standard relative to the unknown, both vertically and horizontally.Therefore, unlike the conventional K/Ar technique, absolute abundances need not be measured.