Thermoluminescence dating definition

Posted by / 18-Apr-2020 02:38

Most excited electrons will soon recombine with lattice ions, but some will be trapped, storing part of the energy of the radiation in the form of trapped electric charge (Figure 1).Depending on the depth of the traps (the energy required to free an electron from them) the storage time of trapped electrons will vary - some traps are sufficiently deep to store charge for hundreds of thousands of years.The complex history of radioactive force on a sample can be difficult to estimate.However, thermoluminescence proven acceptable in providing approximate dates in the absence of more exact measures.The accumulation of trapped electrons, and the gaps left behind in the spaces they vacated, occurs at a measurable rate proportional to the radiation received from a specimen’s immediate environment.When a specimen is reheated, the trapped energy is released in the form of light (thermoluminescence) as the electrons escape.The amount of light produced is proportional to the number of trapped electrons that have been freed which is in turn proportional to the radiation dose accumulated.In order to relate the signal (the thermoluminescence—light produced when the material is heated) to the radiation dose that caused it, it is necessary to calibrate the material with known doses of radiation since the density of traps is highly variable.

Once all components of the radiation field are determined, the accumulated dose from the thermoluminescence measurements is divided by the dose accumulating each year, to obtain the years since the zeroing event.The radiation dose rate - the dose accumulated per year-must be determined first.This is commonly done by measurement of the alpha radioactivity (the uranium and thorium content) and the potassium content (K-40 is a beta and gamma emitter) of the sample material.Thermoluminescence (TL) dating 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).As the material is heated, during measurements, thermoluminescence, a weak light signal, is emitted, proportional to the radiation dose absorbed by the material.

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