Radiometric dating example

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.

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.

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.

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.

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