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The creationist "argon escape" theory does not support their young earth model.) The argon age determination of the mineral can be confirmed by measuring the loss of potassium.In old rocks, there will be less potassium present than was required to form the mineral, because some of it has been transmuted to argon.Potassium-Argon dating: The element potassium (symbol K) has three nuclides, K39, K40, and K41. K40 can decay in two different ways: it can break down into either calcium or argon.The ratio of calcium formed to argon formed is fixed and known.Radiometric dating is a means of determining the "age" of a mineral specimen by determining the relative amounts present of certain radioactive elements.By "age" we mean the elapsed time from when the mineral specimen was formed.The corresponding half lives for each plotted point are marked on the line and identified.
For example, uranium-238 is an isotope of uranium-235, because it has 3 more neutrons in the nucleus.(Do not confuse with the highly radioactive isotope, strontium-90.) Strontium occurs naturally as a mixture of several nuclides, including the stable isotope strontium-86.If three different strontium-containing minerals form at the same time in the same magma, each strontium containing mineral will have the same ratios of the different strontium nuclides, since all strontium nuclides behave the same chemically.(Note that this does not mean that the ratios are the same everywhere on earth.It merely means that the ratios are the same in the particular magma from which the test sample was later taken.) As strontium-87 forms, its ratio to strontium-86 will increase.
The sum of protons plus neutrons is the mass number.