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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.(For brevity's sake, hereafter I will refer to the parent isotope as ).In addition, it requires that these measurements be taken from several different objects which all formed at the same time from a common pool of materials.

Until the 18th century, this question was principally in the hands of theologians, who based their calculations on biblical chronology.James Hutton, a physician-farmer and one of the founders of the science of geology, wrote in 1788, “The result, therefore, of our present inquiry is, that we find no vestige of a beginning, — no prospect of an end.” Although this may now sound like an overstatement, it nicely expresses the tremendous intellectual leap required when geologic time was finally and forever severed from the artificial limits imposed by the length of the human lifetime.By the mid- to late 1800s, geologists, physicists, and chemists were searching for ways to quantify the age of the Earth. Development of this process was aided by German chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann, who later went on to discover nuclear fission in December 1938.The utility of the rubidium-strontium isotope system results from the fact that Sr with a half life of 48.8 billion years.

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