Isotopic age dating

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

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

(For brevity's sake, hereafter I will refer to the parent isotope as ).

In addition, it requires that these measurements be taken from several different objects which all formed at the same time from a common pool of materials.

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