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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.
It is not easily explained, in the general case, in any other way.
The data points would be expected to start out on a line if certain initial conditions were met.
Since the data points have the same Y-value and a range of X-values, they initially fall on a horizontal line: half-lives will include zero within its range of uncertainty.
(The range of uncertainty varies, and may be as much as an order of magnitude different from the approximate value above.
(For brevity's sake, hereafter I will refer to the parent isotope as ).
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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.
Isochron methods avoid the problems which can potentially result from both of the above assumptions.
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