When a laser light source is used to stimulate the release of electrons, the process is called optically stimulated luminescence.
Radiocarbon dating: radioactive carbon decays to nitrogen with a half-life of 5730 years.
In dead material, the decayed 14C is not replaced and its concentration in the object decreases slowly.
What an archaeologist would be able to measure using this technique is the last time the vessel was heated above 500 degrees Celcius, either at the time the vessel was first fired or the last time it was heated if it was used as a cooking vessel.
In the laboratory, the release of electrons can be induced through heating or the use of a laser beam.
As a dating tool the TL technique has been of great success in authentication of ancient ceramic art objects.
However, a few complicated factors limit the precision and accuracy in age determination.
Scientists in North America first developed thermoluminescence dating of rock minerals in the 1950s and 1960s, and the University of Oxford, England first developed the thermoluminescence dating of fired ceramics in the 1960s and 1970s.
During the 1970s and 1980s scientists at Simon Frasier University, Canada, developed standard thermoluminescence dating procedures used to date sediments.
Chronometric dating, also known as chronometry or absolute dating, is any archaeological dating method that gives a result in calendar years before the present time.
Archaeologists and scientists use absolute dating methods on samples ranging from prehistoric fossils to artifacts from relatively recent history.
Because of the somewhat short half-life of 14C, radiocarbon dating is not applicable to samples with ages greater than about 50,000 years, because the remaining concentration would be too small for accurate measurement.