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This will be discussed in more detail in the section on Gill's paper below.
The "generic" method described by Gonick is easier to understand, but it does not handle such necessities as: (1) varying levels of uncertainty in the X- versus Y-measurements of the data; (2) computing an uncertainty in slope and Y-intercept from the data; and (3) testing whether the "fit" of the data to the line is good enough to imply that the isochron yields a valid age.
Now that the mechanics of plotting an isochron have been described, we will discuss the potential problems of the "simple" dating method with respect to isochron methods.
The amount of initial wouldn't change over time -- because it would have no parent atoms to produce daughter atoms.
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.
The simplest form of isotopic age computation involves substituting three measurements into an equation of four variables, and solving for the fourth.
This results in a range of X-values for the data points representing individual minerals.The wonderful property of isochron methods is: if one of these requirements is violated, it is nearly certain that the data will indicate the problem by failure to plot on a line.(This topic will be discussed in much more detail below.) Where the simple methods will produce an incorrect age, isochron methods will generally indicate the unsuitability of the object for dating.Each such age would match the result given by the isochron.Gain or loss of In order to make the figures easy to read (and quick to draw), the examples in this paper include few data points.
It depends on the accuracy of the measurements and the fit of the data to the line in each individual case.) For example, with Rb/Sr isochron dating, any age less than a few tens of millions of years is usually indistinguishable from zero.