In thermoluminescence dating, these long-term traps are used to determine the age of materials: When irradiated crystalline material is again heated or exposed to strong light, the trapped electrons are given sufficient energy to escape.
What type of artifacts can thermoluminescence be used to date?
Thermoluminescence. Thermoluminescence dating is used for rocks, minerals, ceramics and burned features. It is based on the fact that almost all natural minerals are thermoluminescent—they emit light when heated.
How accurate is thermoluminescence?
Using oxygen and lithium ions from the Tandem accelerator at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) in Florence, researchers found that their measurements were accurate to within 1%, despite large fluctuations in the irradiation beam.