In luminescence-based measurements of dose distributions in unheated mineral samples, the observed spread in dose values is usually attributed to four main factors: fluctuations in the number of photons counted, incomplete zeroing of any prior trapped charge (including signals arising from thermal transfer), heterogeneity in dosimetry, and instrument reproducibility. For correct interpretation of measured dose distributions in retrospective dosimetry, it is important to understand the relative importance of these components, and to establish whether other factors also contribute to the observed spread. In this preliminary study, dose distributions have been studied using single grains of heated and laboratory irradiated quartz. By heating the sample, the contribution from incomplete zeroing was excluded and at the same time the sample was sensitised. The laboratory gamma irradiation was designed to deliver a uniform dose to the sample. Thus it was anticipated that statistical fluctuations in the number of photons counted and instrument reproducibility, both quantifiable entities, should be able to account for all the observed variance in the measured dose distributions. We examine this assumption in detail, and discuss the origins and importance of the residual variance in our data. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Radiation Measurements, 2005, Vol 39, Issue 1, p. 47-61