These regions are known as electron traps because radiation, either in the form of electromagnetic or particle, becomes trapped in the imperfections of the lattice.When this material is heated these electrons move into an excited state from the absorbed thermal energy, and escape in the form of light.When this happens we say that the artifact has been bleached because, theoretically, no electrons remain in these traps.This is helpful when dating ceramic pottery because ceramics must be fired to harden the material.Say there are a number of fossils in a rock bed and perhaps they are too old or too damaged to be dated by other archaeological methods. "AN OVERVIEW OF RED-THERMOLUMINESCENCE (RTL) STUDIES ON HEATED QUARTZ AND RTL APPLICATION TO DOSIMETRY AND DATING." Geochronometria: Journal On Methods & Applications Of Absolute Chronology 30, 9-16. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed December 8, 2013). "RADIOCARBON WIGGLE-MATCH DATING OF BULK SEDIMENTS-- HOW ACCURATE CAN IT BE? Because sediment is continuous deposited, TL can be used to date the sediment around the artifact and get a close estimation of its age (Mellstrom par 1). Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed November 4, 2013). "Lattice defects in organic crystals revealed by the direct molecular imaging.
takes thermoluminescence measurements from quartz grains that have had the outer layer ground away.
The grains are ground down to expose the core of the samples which have not been penetrated by alpha particle radiation from the surrounding clay.
Quartz is relatively free of radioactivity so the TL measurements are reliable.
Thermoluminescence dating (TL) takes an artifact that was at one point heated, such as a ceramic cooking pot, and heats it to measure the amount of light emitted (Daniels par 1).
Within a crystalline material there exist imperfections, places in the crystal lattice that are damaged or faulted.