POEM: Pulsed optical stimulation to separate mixed quartz/feldspar luminescence signals

Here’s a haiku (with reference list) I wrote while reading up on pulsed optically stimulated luminescence dating. I thought this might be a fun way to engage with the information I was reading. Sure beats boring summaries…

WCMK Hole 3 1.5-1.9 (more90,MS) copy

Sand-sized sediment for luminescence dating, magnified under a microscope. Clear grains are quartz, orange-pink grains are feldspar. Personal photo.

mixed quartz and feldspar,
age estimate may be wrong,
must separate them.

if impossible,
new method can help problem,
change the procedure.

stimulation is
usually continuous.
use short bursts and see!

feldspar glows bright first,
glow has rapid rise and fall,
but quartz is slower…

find the boundary,
isolate right mineral,
happy scientist!


Bailiff, I.K. (2000). Characteristics of time-resolved luminescence in quartz. Radiation Measurements. 32 (5). pp. 401–405.

Clark, R.J. & Bailiff, I.K. (1998). Fast time-resolved luminescence emission spectroscopy in some feldspars. Radiation Measurements. 29 (5). pp. 553–560.

Denby, P.M., Bøtter-Jensen, L., Murray, A.S., Thomsen, K.J. & Moska, P. (2006). Application of pulsed OSL to the separation of the luminescence components from a mixed quartz/feldspar sample. Radiation Measurements. 41 (7–8). pp. 774–779.