Value of potassium argon dating to geologists man behind bars dating site
A commonly used radiometric dating technique relies on the breakdown of potassium (Ar in an igneous rock can tell us the amount of time that has passed since the rock crystallized.
If an igneous or other rock is metamorphosed, its radiometric clock is reset, and potassium-argon measurements can be used to tell the number of years that has passed since metamorphism.
This method uses the orientation of the Earth's magnetic field, which has changed through time, to determine ages for fossils and rocks.
Geologists have established a set of principles that can be applied to sedimentary and volcanic rocks that are exposed at the Earth's surface to determine the relative ages of geological events preserved in the rock record.
However, the age of each fossil primate needs to be determined so that fossils of the same age found in different parts of the world and fossils of different ages can be compared.
Radioactive elements are unstable; they breakdown spontaneously into more stable atoms over time, a process known as radioactive decay.