Absolute and relative rock dating


Heating an item to 500 degrees Celsius or higher releases the trapped electrons, producing light.This light can be measured to determine the last time the item was heated. Fluctuating levels can skew results – for example, if an item went through several high radiation eras, thermoluminescence will return an older date for the item.

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This process frees electrons within minerals that remain caught within the item.

Thus dating that particular tree does not necessarily indicate when the fire burned or the structure was built.