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This is going to have some amount of potassium-40 in it.And then let's say this one over here has more argon-40. And using the math that we're going to do in the next video, let's say you're able to say that this is, using the half-life, and using the ratio of argon-40 that's left, or using the ratio of the potassium-40 left to what you know was there before, you say that this must have solidified 100 million years ago, 100 million years before the present.Because what's cool about argon, and we study this a little bit in the chemistry playlist, it is a noble gas, it is unreactive. And you know that it has decayed since that volcanic event, because if it was there before it would have seeped out.And so when it is embedded in something that's in a liquid state it'll kind of just bubble out. So it erupts, and you have all of this lava flowing. So the only way that this would have been able to get trapped is, while it was liquid it would seep out, but once it's solid it can get trapped inside the rock.This is a situation where one of the protons turns into a neutron. And while this lava is in a liquid state it's going to be able to bubble out. So then you're only going to be left with potassium-40 here. You know that it was due to some previous volcanic event.And what's really interesting to us is this part right over here. And it might already have some argon-40 in it just like that. And that's why the argon-40 is more interesting, because the calcium-40 won't necessarily have seeped out. You know that this argon-40 is from the decayed potassium-40.And every 1.25 billion years-- let me write it like this, that's its half-life-- so 50% of any given sample will have decayed. And it actually captures one of the inner electrons, and then it emits other things, and I won't go into all the quantum physics of it, but it turns into argon-40. And you see calcium on the periodic table right over here has 20 protons. And what's really interesting about that is that when you have these volcanic eruptions, and because this argon-40 is seeping out, by the time this lava has hardened into volcanic rock-- and I'll do that volcanic rock in a different color. And so if you fast forward to some future date, and if you look at the sample-- let me copy and paste it.So this is a situation where one of the neutrons turns into a proton. By the time it has hardened into volcanic rock all of the argon-40 will be gone. And so what's neat is, this volcanic event, the fact that this rock has become liquid, it kind of resets the amount of argon-40 there. So if you fast forward to some future date, and you see that there is some argon-40 there, in that sample, you know this is a volcanic rock.

These analytical procedures include several steps: (i) dating method selection (ii) sample collection (iii) sample preparation, mineral separation and treatment (iv) irradiation of the samples in a nuclear reactor for the Ar-Ar technique (v) high precision determination of the concentration of the mother and daughter isotopes by TIMS (thermal ionization mass spectrometry) (vi) apparent age calculation and interpretation of the results The dating strategy depends on the type of formation (magmatic, metamorphic or sedimentary), the sample composition and the age of the formation.It's a pretty good indicator, if you can assume that this soil hasn't been dug around and mixed, that this fossil is between 100 million and 150 million years old. Ages of geological formations or secondary events (i.e.It accounts for, I'm just rounding off, 93.3% of the potassium that you would find on Earth. You also have potassium-- and once again writing the K and the 19 are a little bit redundant-- you also have potassium-41. And then you have a very scarce isotope of potassium called potassium-40. And so what's really interesting about potassium-40 here is that it has a half-life of 1.25 billion years. So when you think about it decaying into argon-40, what you see is that it lost a proton, but it has the same mass number.So the good thing about that, as opposed to something like carbon-14, it can be used to date really, really, really old things. So one of the protons must of somehow turned into a neutron. It'll just bubble out essentially, because it's not bonded to anything, and it'll sort of just seep out while we are in a liquid state. So right when the event happened, you shouldn't have any argon-40 right when that lava actually becomes solid.

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