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.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.Age "uncertainty" When a "simple" dating method is performed, the result is a single number.
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.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.There are minor differences between isotopes of the same element, and in relatively rare circumstances it is possible to obtain some amount of differentiation between them. The effect is almost always a very small departure from homogeneous distribution of the isotopes -- perhaps enough to introduce an error of 0.002 half-lives in a non-isochron age. but it is rare and the effect is not large enough to account for extremely old ages on supposedly young formations.) as minerals form.This results in a range of X-values for the data points representing individual minerals.