Luminescence dating refers to a group of methods of determining how long ago mineral grains were last exposed to sunlight or sufficient heating. It is useful to geologists and archaeologists who want to know when such an event occurred. It uses various methods to stimulate and measure luminescence.
It includes techniques such as optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), infrared stimulated luminescence (IRSL), and thermoluminescence dating (TL). “Optical dating” typically refers to OSL and IRSL, but not TL.
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