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Assuming a closed system means that nothing on the outside of the rock affected the sample.
This means that none of the parent or daughter isotope leaked in or out.
Once all these assumptions are taken, the equation above simplifies to .
Without a closed system, uranium-lead dating, like all other radiometric dating methods, falls apart.
The four isotopes are uranium-235, uranium-238, lead-207, and lead-206.
The process of dating finds the two ratios between uranium-235 and lead-207; and uranium-238 and lead-206.
Scientists know that there are geological events that can disturb the zircon and release the lead created from the uranium. To try to account for this, a radiometric dater will use many different samples and use the ones that fit the Concordia curve.
It may sound straight-forward, but there are many variables that have to be considered.
With all radiometric dating processes, the accuracy of uranium-lead dating is called into question.
Some of the classic problems with this kind of dating process include what the process can really date, how far the radiometric process can date accurately, and the assumptions taken so the dating process works.
From what has been observed, even small amounts of rock metamorphosis should not disturb the elements in the zircon.
Another benefit is that zircon has been found in most igneous rocks.