(Do not confuse with the highly radioactive isotope, strontium-90.) Strontium occurs naturally as a mixture of several nuclides, including the stable isotope strontium-86.
If three different strontium-containing minerals form at the same time in the same magma, each strontium containing mineral will have the same ratios of the different strontium nuclides, since all strontium nuclides behave the same chemically.
Contrary to creationist claims, it is possible to make that determination, as the following will explain: By way of background, all atoms of a given element have the same number of protons in the nucleus; however, the number of neutrons in the nucleus can vary.
Rubidium-Strontium dating: The nuclide rubidium-87 decays, with a half life of 48.8 billion years, to strontium-87.
Strontium-87 is a stable element; it does not undergo further radioactive decay.
Therefore the amount of argon formed provides a direct measurement of the amount of potassium-40 present in the specimen when it was originally formed.
Because argon is an inert gas, it is not possible that it might have been in the mineral when it was first formed from molten magma.