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Now the bad news is that there is no way we can somehow manipulate this data to give us a correct date for the sample.
J is not calculated on theoretical grounds, but is found experimentally; alongside the sample we're interested in, we irradiate and then heat a sample of known age (a standard).
Measuring the Ar emitted from the standard, and knowing the time t that it was formed, we can put these figures into the equation above and solve it for J.
Strontium isotope measurements are therefore routinely corrected by measuring the (fractionated) Sr) using the appropriate mass dependence of fractionation.
This process is inherently incapable of distinguishing between natural and mass spectrometer generated fractionation.
So now we know J, and we have measured the R-value of the sample we're actually interested in dating, so we can use these data to solve the equation for t, giving us the age we're looking for.
You will note that this means that we have to be able to date some rocks accurately using some method other than Ar-Ar, so that we can find a standard to use for the determination of J; fortunately we can do this, and geologists have put a lot of effort into identifying rocks which can be accurately dated and used as standards.In the first place, recall that one of the potential problems with the K-Ar method is that it requires two different samples, one to measure the potassium and the other to measure the argon; if the two samples had different chemical compositions when they first formed then this will introduce an error.However, in Ar-Ar dating the two isotopes of argon are both measured from the same sample, and so at least one potential source of error is eliminated.The other important advantage of Ar-Ar dating is the extra data gained from step heating: instead of heating the irradiated sample to the highest possible temperature all at once, and so releasing all the argon all at once, we can increase the temperature in steps starting at a low temperature. Well, different minerals within the rock will give up their argon at different temperatures, so each step will give us a ratio of K from which these are derived must have appeared in the same ratio in each mineral, because both isotopes of potassium have the same chemical properties.This means that if the rock cooled rapidly enough that all the minerals in it have the same date, and if there has been no argon loss, and if there is no excess argon added to the system, then the dates we calculate at each step of the heating will be the same date.If we don't get the same date at each step, then we may be able to work out what's going on.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating