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The problem is that it is technically very difficult to measure a potassium argon ration accurately, because one is a reactive solid, and the other is an inert gas.They require different sorts of ion sources, different mass spectrometers, and there are all sorts of chemical effects that complicate the measurement. Thus, a granite containing all three minerals will record three different "ages" of emplacement as it cools down through these closure temperatures.Thus, although a crystallization age is not recorded, the information is still useful in constructing the thermal history of the rock.Ar age data that appeared in more than 195 peer-reviewed publications and in 31 Senior, MSc and Ph D theses.
The mass spectrometer is mated on-line to a fully automated extraction line with two C-50 getters and a cryogenic condensation trap.
An automated air pipette system allows periodic monitoring of sensitivity and mass discrimination.
All aspects of sample degassing, gettering, and mass spectrometry are controlled by software developed by BGC, and run on a Macintosh computer.
System 2 features an MAP 215-50 mass spectrometer, which is similar to the MAP 215C on System 1 in most respects except that it uses an electrostatic filter in conjunction with the electron multiplier detector.
The extraction line is analogous in all respects to that of System 1 except that it uses a Nd-YAG laser, which can be used in either continuous or pulsed mode.