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J value uncertainty can be minimized by constraining the geometry of the standard relative to the unknown, both vertically and horizontally.

The NMGRL does this by irradiating samples in machined aluminum disks where standards and unknowns alternate every other position.

Potassium can be mobilized into or out of a rock or mineral through alteration processes.

Due to the relatively heavy atomic weight of potassium, insignificant fractionation of the different potassium isotopes occurs.

Because this (primary) standard ultimately cannot be determined by Ar, it must be first determined by another isotopic dating method.

Ca F is also routinely irradiated and measured to determine the Ar technique relies on ratios instead of absolute quantities, we are able to extract and measure multiple aliquots of argon from a single sample.

Multiple argon extractions can be performed on a sample in several ways.

The quantity of potassium in a rock or mineral is variable proportional to the amount of silica present.

Therefore, mafic rocks and minerals often contain less potassium than an equal amount of silicic rock or mineral.

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