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Dating techniques

Illuminating the past

The technique of optical dating was first reported 30 years ago, and has since revolutionized studies of events that occurred during the past 500,000 years. Here, two practitioners of optical dating assess its impact and consider its future.

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Figure 1: Electron traps as timekeepers in mineral grains.

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Correspondence to Richard G. Roberts or Olav B. Lian.

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Roberts, R., Lian, O. Illuminating the past. Nature 520, 438–439 (2015).

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