Isochron dating methods

In whole rock isochron methods that make use of the rubidium–strontium or samarium–neodymium decay schemes (see below), a series of rocks or minerals are chosen that can be assumed to have the same age...

In this case, it is a big advantage to present the data in a form in which the abundance of...

Scientists typically determine the age of a rock or meteorite by using the isochron method.

For purposes of illustration, consider the rubidium-strontium decay system.

As the parent decays to daughter the ratios change and the straight line remains but becomes angled.

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The uncertainty in determining the slope is reduced because it is defined by many points.The slope of the line is related to the age of the samples.The simplest way to think of it is this: Some rock materials (isotopes) decay, and we can determine the age of a rock in today’s laboratories by determining how much of a specific isotope contained in the rock has decayed.Many radioactive dating methods are based on minute additions of daughter products to a rock or mineral in which a considerable amount of daughter-type isotopes already exists.These isotopes did not come from radioactive decay in the system but rather formed during the original creation of the elements.

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