Potassium-argon dating is a method for estimating the age of volcanic rocks by measuring the ratio of potassium to argon present. The method is based on the fact that the potassium isotope of potassium decays over time to form argon The useful fact about these two substances is that at normal temperatures, potassium is a solid, but argon is a gas.
Potassium-Argon Dating Potassium-Argon dating is the only viable technique for dating very old archaeological materials.
Although researchers have determined the ages of rocks from other planetary bodies, the actual experiments -- like analyzing meteorites and moon rocks -- have always been done on Earth. Now, for the first time, researchers have successfully determined the age of a Martian rock -- with experiments performed on Mars. The work, led by geochemist Ken Farley of the California Institute of Technology Caltechcould not only help in understanding the geologic history of Mars but also aid in the search for evidence of ancient life on the planet.
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