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This ratio can then be measured to determine the time that has passed since the death of the plant.John Philips was the first to use strata to date sediments.
Cosmic radiation causes a small percentage of the nitrogen in the atmosphere to be transformed into carbon-14 atoms.
The half-life is the amount of time it takes for half of the atoms to decay.
Radiometric dating is useful in dating the igneous rocks that are found between layers of sedimentary rock, because only volcanic rock can be dated with this method. After one half-life, half of the original radioactive atoms are present.
Stratigraphy and biostratigraphy are not the only methods used to date fossils.
The radiometric dating techniques discussed in the previous section are used in tandem with stratigraphy and biostratigraphy.