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Radioactive elements "decay" (that is, change into other elements) by "half lives." If a half life is equal to one year, then one half of the radioactive element will have decayed in the first year after the mineral was formed; one half of the remainder will decay in the next year (leaving one-fourth remaining), and so forth.The formula for the fraction remaining is one-half raised to the power given by the number of years divided by the half-life (in other words raised to a power equal to the number of half-lives).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.(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.
The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom is called its atomic number.
Because of radioactivity, the fraction of rubidium-87 decreases from an initial value of 100% at the time of formation of the mineral, and approaches zero with increasing number of half lives.
At the same time, the fraction of strontium-87 increases from zero and approaches 100% with increasing number of half-lives.
Rubidium-Strontium dating: The nuclide rubidium-87 decays, with a half life of 48.8 billion years, to strontium-87.
Strontium-87 is a stable element; it does not undergo further radioactive decay.
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The two curves cross each other at half life = 1.00.