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Whether there's a data point on the Y-axis or not, the Y-intercept of the line doesn't change as the slope of the isochron line does (as shown in Figure 5).Therefore, the Y-intercept of the isochron line gives the initial global ratio of could be subtracted out of each sample, and it would then be possible to derive a simple age (by the equation introduced in the first section of this document) for each sample.

Note that the mere existence of these assumptions do not render the simpler dating methods entirely useless.In many cases, there are independent cues (such as geologic setting or the chemistry of the specimen) which can suggest that such assumptions are entirely reasonable.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.(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.

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.

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.

The better the fit of the data to the line, the lower the uncertainty.