# Straight s m dating

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.

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.

Age "uncertainty" When a "simple" dating method is performed, the result is a single number.

There is no good way to tell how close the computed result is likely to be to the actual age.

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

For further information on fitting of lines to data (also known as regression analysis), see: Note that the methods used by isotope geologists (as described by York) are much more complicated than those described by Gonick.

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 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.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.

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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.

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