National Argon Map      Our Expertise      Facility      Services      Research      Methods      Members      History      Contact Us

History of K-Ar and Ar-Ar

RSES has a long history, beginning in 1960, in the field of K-Argon and then 40Ar/39Ar Dating of which we are very proud. Professor Ian McDougall (1935-2018) has been a key scientist that has laid the way for the development of this field of research and prepared the groundwork for the present facilities that we have today.

Professor McDougall has dedicated his life to this research and his scientific publications are witness of this life work. Professor McDougall's early works e.g. McDougall, 1961. Determination of the age of a basic igneous intrusion by the potassium-argon method, Nature, 190, 1184-1186, were of the highest scientific standard and this standard continues with his research today. He has a continuous stream of publications in top rating journals, his more recent papers being on the age of modern humans e.g. McDougall, Brown, Fleagle. 2005. Stratigraphic placement and age of modern humans from Kibish, Ethiopia, Nature. For many of us, Ian’s contribution of what can be regarded as the bible for argon geochronology, McDougall & Harrison, 1999. Geochronology and Thermochronology by the 40Ar/39Ar Method. 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, New York, 269pp, is one of his most appreciated contributions.

I would encourage you to read Ian’s brief history of the ANU laboratories, it not only sets out this history at ANU but also reflects the history of this field of research of which he had a key role.