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It is assumed that we are dealing with a closed system—no loss of either parent or daughter elements has occurred since the study material formed.No scientist can guarantee that any sample can be considered a closed system unless it was isolated from its environment when it was formed.Let's say an atom is missing a neutron or has an extra neutron. An atom is still the same element if it is missing an electron. For example, there are a lot of carbon (C) atoms in the Universe. Atomic masses are calculated by figuring out the amounts of each type of atom and isotope there are in the Universe. If you have looked at a periodic table, you may have noticed that the atomic mass of an element is rarely an even number. If you are an atom with an extra electron, it's no big deal.It's assumed that the clock was set to zero when the study material was formed.
If dated with the carbon-14 method, the flow appears to be less than 17,000 years old, but dating with the potassium argon method gives dates of 160,000 to 43 million years.A rock sample from Nigeria was dated at 95 million years by the potassium-argon method, 750 million years by the uranium-helium method, and less than 30 million years by the fission-track method.