Difference between radiometric carbon dating
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.
(Rocks which include several different minerals are excellent for this.) Each group of measurements is plotted as a data point on a graph.
The X-axis of the graph is the ratio of in a closed system over time.
However, the methods must be used with care -- and one should be cautious about investing much confidence in the resulting age...
especially in absence of cross-checks by different methods, or if presented without sufficient information to judge the context in which it was obtained.