As time goes on, the ionizing radiation field around the material causes the trapped electrons to accumulate (Figure 2).In the laboratory, the accumulated radiation dose can be measured, but this by itself is insufficient to determine the time since the zeroing event.
Cord Luminescence Laboratory (DRILL) is located at DRI’s northern campus in Reno, NV and offers a broad spectrum of luminescence dating capabilities, including optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and thermoluminescence (TL) techniques.
Subsequent irradiation, for example if an x-ray is taken, can affect accuracy, as will the "annual dose" of radiation a buried object has received from the surrounding soil.
Ideally this is assessed by measurements made at the precise findspot over a long period.
We can also arrange training for undergraduate and graduate students, post-docs, and visiting researchers.
Thermoluminescence dating (TL) is the determination, by means of measuring the accumulated radiation dose, of the time elapsed since material containing crystalline minerals was either heated (lava, ceramics) or exposed to sunlight (sediments).
Search for luminescence dating:
As a crystalline material is heated during measurements, the process of thermoluminescence starts.