Optical luminescence dating laboratory

Luminescence dating is good for between a few hundred to (at least) several hundred thousand years, making it much more useful than carbon dating.

The term luminescence refers to the energy emitted as light from minerals such as quartz and feldspar after they've been exposed to an ionizing radiation of some sort.

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.

In the same way, more or less, OSL (optically stimulated luminescence) dating measures the last time an object was exposed to sunlight.

This energy is lodged in the imperfect lattices of the mineral's crystals.

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.

The exposure to radioactive elements continues, and the minerals begin again storing free electrons in their structures.

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.We specialize in the analysis of the optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) signals from quartz sand grains in geomorphological and geoarchaeological applications. : Advice on Sampling and Applications Through the Lens of the Geochronologist (Booths, Lightning Talks, Posters).We are also equipped to measure Infrared Stimulated Luminescence (IRSL) on potassium feldpsar. Convenors: Tammy Rittenour; Michelle Summa Nelson; Shannon A.Minerals, in fact, everything in our planet, are exposed to cosmic radiation: luminescence dating takes advantage of the fact that certain minerals both collect and release energy from that radiation under specific conditions.Crystalline rock types and soils collect energy from the radioactive decay of cosmic uranium, thorium, and potassium-40.The energy released by stimulating the crystals is expressed in light (luminescence).