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    Unlike other isotopic dating methods, the "daughter" in fission track dating is an effect in the crystal rather than a daughter isotope.Uranium-238 undergoes spontaneous fission decay at a known rate, and it is the only isotope with a decay rate that is relevant to the significant production of natural fission tracks; other isotopes have fission decay rates too slow to be of consequence.The fragments emitted by this fission process leave trails of damage (fossil tracks or ion tracks) in the crystal structure of the mineral that contains the uranium.The process of track production is essentially the same by which swift heavy ions produce ion tracks.Fission tracks are sensitive to heat, and therefore the technique is useful at unraveling the thermal evolution of rocks and minerals.Most current research using fission tracks is aimed at: a) understanding the evolution of mountain belts; b) determining the source or provenance of sediments; c) studying the thermal evolution of basins; d) determining the age of poorly dated strata; and e) dating and provenance determination of archeological artifacts.

    He graduated from Yale University, and taught there 1897-1900.Thorium is not soluble in natural waters under conditions found at or near the surface of the earth, so materials grown in or from these waters do not usually contain thorium.In contrast, uranium is soluble to some extent in all natural waters, so any material that precipitates or is grown from such waters also contains trace uranium, typically at levels of between a few parts per billion and few parts per million by weight.So, when a mineral forms – whether from molten rock, or from substances dissolved in water – it will be initially argon-free, even if there is some argon in the liquid.However, if the mineral contains any potassium, then decay of the K isotope present will create fresh argon-40 that will remain locked up in the mineral.

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