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Luminescence dating

Saunders, dating a widower with kids who thought the thermoluminescence response of pottery shards could date the last incidence of heating. Luminescence dating Save Luminescence dating refers to a group of methods of determining how long ago mineral grains were last exposed to sunlight or sufficient heating. It uses various methods to stimulate and measure luminescence.

For quartz, blue or green excitation frequencies are normally used and the near ultra-violet emission is measured. Minerals The minerals that are measured are usually either quartz or potassium feldspar sand-sized grains, or unseparated silt-sized grains.

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The older the sample is, the more light it emits, up to a saturation limit.

The photons of the emitted light must have higher energies than the excitation photons in order to avoid measurement of ordinary photoluminescence. There are advantages and disadvantages to using each. These slowly decay over time and the ionizing radiation they produce is absorbed by mineral grains in the sediments such as quartz and potassium feldspar. The trapped charge accumulates over time at a rate determined by the amount of background radiation at the location where the sample was buried. This reworked carbon changed the measured isotopic ratios, giving a false older age.