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New method for determining age of artifacts fills chronological gap for scientists

dating mineral samples that are between 100,000 and 4.3 billion years old.

Forged artifacts also can be tested with the quartz hydration dating technique. With replications of statues for example, the thinness or lack of the hydration layer will give away their age. The technique may also have applications for dating geological events, such as an earthquake rupture, which would cause natural fracturing of quartz.

"What is so exciting about quartz hydration dating is that it opens up the possibilities of dating other minerals, which could lead to a whole new class of materials and processes that could be dated," Ericson said.

Ericson's colleagues in the study are Oliver Dersch and Friedel Rauch of the Institute for Nuclear Physics at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. Partial funding for this study was provided by the National Science Foundation.


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Contact: Lori Brandt
lbrandt@uci.edu
949-824-5484
University of California - Irvine
12-Apr-2004


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