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(For brevity's sake, hereafter I will refer to the parent isotope as ).
(The range of uncertainty varies, and may be as much as an order of magnitude different from the approximate value above.
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.
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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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.