Argonne National Laboratory

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  • Argonne physicist Peter Mueller and his colleagues are selectively capturing and counting rare isotopes of krypton to determine the age of ice and groundwater. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)

    Radiokrypton dating plumbs mysteries of water aquifers

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    Argonne physicists are using a unique, laser-based, atom-counting technique called Atom Trap Trace Analysis to selectively capture and count the krypton isotopes 81Kr and 85Kr to determine the age of ice and groundwater. The results provide valuable information about the dynamics, flow rates and direction of water in aquifers, particularly those vital to arid regions.