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Data points that do not fit on the isochron are simply ignored because their values are regarded as due to contamination. That this is common practice is illustrated with numerous examples from the literature by Faure and Mensing (2005) and Dickin (2005). For example, in a thick (1 µm) solid Rb sample, attenuation is so severe that a false frequency maximum is generated at about 10 ke V. One way this attenuation problem has been avoided is to use a photo-multiplier with a liquid scintillation solution doped with Rb.
Yet these can be circumvented somewhat via the isochron technique, because it is independent of the starting conditions and is sensitive to revealing any contamination.
On the other hand, it could be argued that this discarding of data points which do not fit the isochron is somewhat arbitrary and therefore is not good science, because it is merely assumed their “aberrant” values are due to contamination rather than that being proven to be so.
The aim of this contribution is to begin to document the methodology behind and history of determining the decay constants and half-lives of the parent radioisotopes used as the basis for the long-age dating methods.
Rb half-life and decay constant, there is still no consensus on the absolute values.
Even the more accurate determinations of the last 30 years have resulted in discrepancies.