ther·​mo·​lu·​mi·​nes·​cence ˌthər-mō-ˌlü-mə-ˈne-sᵊn(t)s How to pronounce thermoluminescence (audio)
: phosphorescence developed in a previously excited substance upon gentle heating
: the determination of the age of old material (such as pottery) by the amount of thermoluminescence it produces

called also thermoluminescence dating

thermoluminescent adjective

Examples of thermoluminescence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The technique doing the most damage to conventional wisdom is called thermoluminescence, TL for short. James Shreeve, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 Chantal Tribolo of the University of Bordeaux Montaigne performed what is called thermoluminescence analysis to determine whether the silcrete tools from Pinnacle Point were intentionally heated. Curtis W. Marean, Scientific American, 1 Oct. 2016 Researchers who work with prehistoric tools made from flint — a hardened form of quartz — often use thermoluminescence (TL) to tell them not the age of the rock, but of the tool. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 31 May 2016 To try to prove that Early Stone Age campfires caused the discoloration, researchers in the 1980s and ’90s used techniques such as magnetic susceptibility analysis and thermoluminescence dating. Kenneth Miller, Discover Magazine, 16 Dec. 2013 While the bones may get all the headlines, these bits of flint, apparently flaked off into the fire as tools were sharpened, are just as important: The material was perfect for dating using the thermoluminescence method. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 7 June 2017 The teeth were dated to around 250,000 years ago based on thermoluminescence testing on nearby burned flint, and the set of samples recorded about three years of life. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 31 Oct. 2018 Hublin and his colleagues used a method called thermoluminescence to calculate how much time had passed since the blades were burned. The New York Times, Orange County Register, 7 June 2017 Potts also noted that in east Africa, dating the argon in volcanic ash is preferred over thermoluminescence (but there is no ash in Morocco to measure). Ben Guarino, The Denver Post, 7 June 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'thermoluminescence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1897, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of thermoluminescence was in 1897

Dictionary Entries Near thermoluminescence

Cite this Entry

“Thermoluminescence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

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