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Welcome to the Argon/Argon and Noble Gas Research Laboratory

The Laboratory was first established in 1989, and has since built an international reputation for high-quality Ar/Ar and rare gas analyses by laser ablation methods.

The use of the ultraviolet laser for Ar/Ar dating was pioneered here, and we are dedicated to developing and modifying techniques for dating ultra-small samples to high precision, and ultra-high resolution noble gas diffusion experiments.

image of the Open University Argon dating instrument laboratory showing the MAP mass spectrometer

The Ar/Ar dating method is a very versatile radiometric dating tool, generally applicable to finding the age of any potassium-bearing rock or mineral. Consequently our Ar/Ar dating research activities are diverse and include: meteorite impacts, volcanoes, mountain-building, sandstone and mudrock provenance, and, not forgetting an old favourite, excess argon. Our noble gas experimentation includes determining diffusion rates of different gas species in minerals and metals.

Contact us

Argon/Argon & Noble Gas Research Group
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes MK7 6AA

Lead Academic - Dr Sarah Sherlock
Telephone: +44 (0) 1908 659559 (office),

Lab Manager - Dr Alison Halton
+44 (0) 1908 659449 (office)