Rubidium has a half-life of 48.8 billion years. This method is used on old igneous and metamorphic rocks. Sometimes, there can be confusion with this method if a rock sample contains some minerals that are older than the bulk of the rock. This may occur during formation if the rock accidentally picks up an unmelted mineral from the surrounding rock that the magma passes through. Problems can also arise if the rock has undergone some metamorphism. In this case, if some parts of the rock completely melted and others did not, it will confuse the sampling equipment as it tries to read it as either old igneous or younger meta-morphic rock.

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