The interaction between this radiation and the atoms of minerals results in gradually increasing radiation damage.
The intensity of the radiation damage in crystal lattices is a measure of the Equivalent Dose (D, additional thermal or optical stimulation, respectively, has to be supplied to the crystal.
Another routine approach that minimizes possible error due to disequilibrium is lab is gamma ray spectrometry, due to an inherited collection of Na I crystals from radioactive chemistry labs.
TL is only one tool in the investigation of authenticity.
It cannot give the complete picture although it can do many things.
Recently new techniques (optically stimulated luminescence dating) using lasers and sensitive detectors have been used to improve the light detection.
Samples require about 100 milligram and the sample collection and handling step is critical. The rate of energy accumulation depends on the amount of background radiation to which the object has been exposed.
Thus, preliminary X-ray or gamma radiography examination of the object can increase the amount of accumulated energy and thus give erroneous dating result.
Thermoluminescence (TL) is a faint violet-blue light that is emitted when a piece of fired pottery is heated at a sufficiently high temperature.Thermoluminescence, or TL, has been used since the 1950s to determine the approximated firing date of pottery and burnt silicate materials.TL has a wide dating range; it has been used to date ceramics from a few hundred years old to geologic formations that are half a million years old.It gives an absolute, objective measurement of the time since the clay at the sampling site was fired. Almost exclusively, luminescence from quartz and feldspar grains is used in dating., since these methods measure the activities of several individual radionuclides in the decay chains.