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Likewise, because of heterogeneity problems with the MMhb-1 sample, the K/Ar ages are not always reproducible.
Step-heating is the most common way and involves either a furnace or a laser to uniformily heat the sample to evolve argon.
These reactor produced isotopes of argon must be corrected for in order to determine an accurate age.
The monitoring of the interfering reactions is performed through the use of laboratory salts and glasses.
Due to the relatively heavy atomic weight of potassium, insignificant fractionation of the different potassium isotopes occurs.
However, the Argon, a noble gas, constitutes approximately 0.1-5% of the Earth's present day atmosphere.
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.
The results from a laser probe can be plotted in several graphical ways, including a map of a grain showing lateral argon distribution.
Ar total fusion measures ratios, making it ideal for samples known to be very argon retentive (eg. Total fusion is performed using a laser and results are commonly plotted on probability distribution diagrams or ideograms.
Therefore, unlike the conventional K/Ar technique, absolute abundances need not be measured.
Instead, the ratios of the different argon isotopes are measured, yielding more precise and accurate results.
The monitor flux can then be extrapolated to the samples, thereby determining their flux.