If those rocks really have been sitting around on the moon for billions of years, I suspect that the the wide range of physical and chemical processes which occurred over that time period had a much more profound effect on the uncertainty of the age determination.This is best illustrated by the radioactive age of a sample of diamonds from Zaire.As I have stated previously, we just don’t know a lot about radioactive decay.Certainly not enough to justify the incredibly unscientific extrapolation necessary in an old-earth framework.One way this is done in many radioactive dating techniques is to use an isochron. To understand the problem, let’s start with an example of how radioactive dating works. Sr-87 is not radioactive, so the change is permanent.The elements rubidium and strontium are found in many rocks. As illustrated above, a neutron in a Rb-87 atom can eject an electron (often called a beta particle), which has a negative charge. We know how long it takes Rb-87 to turn into Sr-87, so in principle, if we analyze the amount of Rb-87 and Sr-87 in a rock, we should be able to tell how long the decay has been occurring.It refers to one specific source of error – the uncertainty in the measurement of the amounts of various atoms used in the analysis.
Essentially, rather than looking at the amounts of Rb-87 and Sr-87, we look at their compared to Sr-86.
Sr-86 diffuses more quickly than Sr-87, and that has never been taken into account when isochrons are analyzed. Perhaps, but it’s rather tricky, because the rate of diffusion depends on the specific chemical and physical environment of each individual rock.
If the effects of diffusion can be taken into account, it will require an elaborate model that will most certainly require elaborate assumptions. Hayes suggests a couple of other approaches that might work, but its not clear how well. If you believe the earth is very old, then most likely, all of the radioactive dates based on isochrons are probably overestimates. I have no idea, and I don’t think anyone else does, either. Hayes’s model indicates it could add as much as 29 billion years to ages determined with rubidium and strontium, although his model is rather simplistic.
Since a neutron has no charge, it must become positively charged after emitting an electron. Of course, there are all sorts of uncertainties involved.
How much Sr-87 was in the rock when it first formed?