Advantages of thermoluminescence dating

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For example, techniques based on isotopes with half lives in the thousands of years, such as carbon-14, cannot be used to date materials that have ages on the order of billions of years, as the detectable amounts of the radioactive atoms and their decayed daughter isotopes will be too small to measure within the uncertainty of the instruments.One of the most widely used and well-known absolute dating techniques is carbon-14 (or radiocarbon) dating, which is used to date organic remains.An additional problem with carbon-14 dates from archeological sites is known as the "old wood" problem.It is possible, particularly in dry, desert climates, for organic materials such as from dead trees to remain in their natural state for hundreds of years before people use them as firewood or building materials, after which they become part of the archaeological record.Thus dating that particular tree does not necessarily indicate when the fire burned or the structure was built.

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After another 5,730 years only one-quarter of the original carbon-14 will remain.

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Argon, a noble gas, is not commonly incorporated into such samples except when produced in situ through radioactive decay.

The date measured reveals the last time that the object was heated past the closure temperature at which the trapped argon can escape the lattice.

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