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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. Determinations based on comparisons of ages of earth minerals and rocks give two different values of the Rb half-life and decay constant to the values using determinations based on comparison of ages of meteorites and lunar rocks. Zum β-zerfall des rubidiums 87: Nachpriifung des zerfallsschemas und neubestimmung der halbwertszeit. Yet the most recent direct counting and in-growth experimental determinations only agree with the most recent determinations based on comparison of the Rb-Sr ages of earth minerals and rocks with their U-Pb “gold standard” ages. Judged from the fact that many of the direct counting experiments have yielded results that are not compatible with one another within the stated uncertainties (see below), it would appear that not all the measurement uncertainties are accounted for, and therefore the stated uncertainties are unrealistically small.
That this is common practice is illustrated with numerous examples from the literature by Faure and Mensing (2005) and Dickin (2005). 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. Radioisotope dating of rocks and meteorites is perhaps the most potent claimed proof for the old age of the earth and the solar system. The absolute ages provided by the radioisotope dating methods provide an apparent aura of certainty to the claimed millions and billions of years for formation of the earth’s rocks.
The consequent extrapolation of count-rate curves down to zero energy leads to a large uncertainty in the result.