Also, as the authors of the 1968 article were careful to explain, xenoliths cannot be dated by the K-Ar method because of excess argon in bubbles trapped inside [Dalrymple2006].Thus in this case, as in many others that have been raised by skeptics of old-earth geology, the "anomaly" is more imaginary than real.
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Radiometric dating is possible because the radioactive decay of large numbers of radioactive atoms follows a predictable pattern.
This predictability allows scientists to measure the age of an object if they can work out how many radioactive atoms were originally present.
Once the rock cools and solidifies, Argon that is formed by radioactive decay is trapped inside.
As no Argon was present in the rock when it first solidified, all Argon in the rock is due to the radioactive decay of Potassium.
Two situations where we can do this involve Potassium-40 atoms and Carbon-14 atoms.
All radioactive atoms decay to become a more stable kind of atom.
The latest high-tech equipment permits reliable results to be obtained even with microscopic samples.
Radiometric dating is self-checking, because the data (after certain preliminary calculations are made) are fitted to a straight line (an "isochron") by means of standard linear regression methods of statistics.
By measuring the amounts of Potassium and Argon present we can date volcanic rocks that are millions of years old.