However, the methods must be used with care -- and one should be cautious about investing much confidence in the resulting age...

especially in absence of cross-checks by different methods, or if presented without sufficient information to judge the context in which it was obtained.

Each such age would match the result given by the isochron.

isochron dating methods forummember phpu-12

Consider some molten rock in which isotopes and elements are distributed in a reasonably homogeneous manner.

Its composition would be represented as a single point on the isochron plot: Note that the above is somewhat simplified.

Unfortunately, one must wade through some hefty math in order to understand the procedures used to fit isochron lines to data.

General comments on "dating assumptions" All radiometric dating methods require, in order to produce accurate ages, certain initial conditions and lack of contamination over time.

The simplest form of isotopic age computation involves substituting three measurements into an equation of four variables, and solving for the fourth.

The equation is the one which describes radioactive decay: If one of these assumptions has been violated, the simple computation above yields an incorrect age.Isochron methods avoid the problems which can potentially result from both of the above assumptions.Isochron dating requires a fourth measurement to be taken, which is the amount of a different isotope of the same element as the daughter product of radioactive decay.(Rocks which include several different minerals are excellent for this.) Each group of measurements is plotted as a data point on a graph.The X-axis of the graph is the ratio of in a closed system over time.Since the data points have the same Y-value and a range of X-values, they initially fall on a horizontal line: half-lives will include zero within its range of uncertainty.