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Thermoluminescence dating is used to date

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Cyanohydrins to Departments of philosophy: Thermoluminescence dating is very useful for determining the age of pottery. Electrons from quartz and other minerals in the pottery clay are bumped out of their normal positions ground state when the clay is exposed to radiation.

There are claims that the...

This radiation may come from radioactive substances such as uraniumpresent in the clay or burial medium, or from cosmic radiation. The longer the exposure to the radiation, the more electrons that are bumped into an excited state, and the more light that is emitted upon heating.

The process of displacing electrons begins again after the object cools.