# Carbon 14 dating false

An additional nice feature of isochron ages is that an "uncertainty" in the age is automatically computed from the fit of the data to a line.

A routine statistical operation on the set of data yields both a slope of the best-fit line (an age) and a variance in the slope (an uncertainty in the age).

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.

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.

Consider some molten rock in which isotopes and elements are distributed in a reasonably homogeneous manner.

Its composition would be represented as a single point on the isochron plot: Note that the above is somewhat simplified.

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.

(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.

It is not easily explained, in the general case, in any other way.

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