# Half life equation radiometric 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.(For brevity's sake, hereafter I will refer to the parent isotope as ).

Experts can compare the ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 14 in dead material to the ratio when the organism was alive to estimate the date of its death.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.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.