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Although it finds the most utility in geological applications, it plays an important role in archaeology.
After the recrystallization of magma, more Ca being the most abundant isotope.
Thus, the amount of calcium originally present is not known with enough accuracy to be able to measure the small increase produced by radioactive decay.
Ar atoms are able to diffuse through and escape from molten magma because most crystals have melted and the atoms are no longer trapped.
Entrained argon—diffused argon that fails to escape from the magma—may again become trapped in crystals when magma cools to become solid rock again.
To obtain the content ratio of isotopes K in a rock or mineral, the amount of Ar is measured by mass spectrometry of the gases released when a rock sample is melted in vacuum.