Optically stimulated luminescence dating wiki

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In the same way, more or less, OSL (optically stimulated luminescence) dating measures the last time an object was exposed to sunlight.Luminescence dating is good for between a few hundred to (at least) several hundred thousand years, making it much more useful than carbon dating.Heating these crystals (such as when a pottery vessel is fired or when rocks are heated) empties the stored energy, after which time the mineral begins absorbing energy again.TL dating is a matter of comparing the energy stored in a crystal to what "ought" to be there, thereby coming up with a date-of-last-heated.If you can measure the rate of acquisition of the stored energy, you can figure out how long it has been since the exposure happened.Materials of geological origin will have absorbed considerable quantities of radiation since their formation, so any human-caused exposure to heat or light will reset the luminescence clock considerably more recently than that since only the energy stored since the event will be recorded.

Two forms of luminescence dating are used by archaeologists to date events in the past: thermoluminescence (TL) or thermally stimulated luminescence (TSL), which measures energy emitted after an object has been exposed to temperatures between 400 and 500°C; and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), which measures energy emitted after an object has been exposed to daylight.

Single-grain dating of sediments also has the potential to address turbation processes.

Luminescence dating (including thermoluminescence and optically stimulated luminescence) is a type of dating methodology that measures the amount of light emitted from energy stored in certain rock types and derived soils to obtain an absolute date for a specific event that occurred in the past.

Crystalline rock types and soils collect energy from the radioactive decay of cosmic uranium, thorium, and potassium-40.

Electrons from these substances get trapped in the mineral's crystalline structure, and continuing exposure of the rocks to these elements over time leads to predictable increases in the number of electrons caught in the matrices.

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