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Potassium, which is present in most rocks and minerals, has a single , K 40.
This decays by two different processes into Calcium 40 and Argon 40.
Though 89% decays to Calcium 40, it is not suitable for measurement since most rocks contain Calcium 40 as a primary element, and the amount caused by the decay of K 40 cannot be determined.
The remaining 11% decays into the gas Argon 40, and this can be measured, along with the amount of potassium in the sample, to get a date.
Libby and a few of his students at the University of Chicago: in 1960, he won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the invention.