On the News | New Lab Helps Scientists Study the Earth’s Oldest Fossils, Minerals, Rocks @ University of Arkansas


On the News @ University of Arkansas


Title: 

New Lab Helps Scientists Study the Earth’s Oldest Fossils, Minerals, Rocks


Excerpt:

Image Credit: University of Arkansas (@source)

“A new lab at the University of Arkansas will help scientists better understand ore deposits in the earth’s crust, how fossils form and what they can tell us about the earth’s climate, and accurately date some of the planet’s oldest rocks, among other uses.

It’s called TRAIL, or trace element and radiogenic isotope laboratory. TRAIL is made up of three main pieces of equipment: two mass spectrometers that the university already owned, and a new laser ablation system that can burn holes as small as seven microns — about one-tenth the diameter of a strand of human hair — into samples. The resulting vapor is directed to the mass spectrometers, one of which can identify trace elements and the other of which is used to study isotopic ratios – the difference in atomic mass of two or more forms of the same element. These measurements can aid in dating the geologic processes that formed the Earth’s crust, help identify the source of economic ore deposits such as lead and tin, and are useful as a means of studying paleoclimate through the chemical composition of fossilized teeth. The combination of instrumentation is unique in the state; in fact, it’s one of only a handful of facilities in the nation capable of this kind of research.” (…) READ MORE


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READ IT HERE:

http://news.uark.edu/articles/38349/new-lab-helps-scientists-study-the-earth-s-oldest-fossils-minerals-rocks