Hope College Department of Physics and Engineering
Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Summer 2005
Project Summary

 

Project Title:

Development Of A Method To Determine The Provenance Of Sand Using PIXE

Student Name: Joshua Warner
Student's Home Institution: Hope College
Research Advisor: Dr. Graham Peaslee
Source of Support: NSF-REU, NSF-MRI, Howard Hughes Foundation

Previously, trace element concentrations in quartz have been used to determine geological origin of sands, but chemical analysis of quartz requires HF to dissolve the SiO 2 matrix. Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) is a non-destructive ion beam analysis technique excellently suited to find concentrations of elements Z=14 with ppm LOD. Hope College 's new 1.7 MV tandem particle accelerator with microprobe capability should allow analysis of individual sand grains. This summer we have worked toward optimizing our techniques for PIXE on quartz, with the ultimate goal of statistically analyzing the dune sands of Lake Michigan 's western shore. We have developed a movable target mount with a camera to select individual grains, and we continue to work on minimizing the diameter of the proton beam with the eventual goal of reaching ~10 m m focused. Preliminary x-ray spectra indicate that iron, titanium and possibly calcium are trace elements that may be used to determine provenance of the West Michigan sands.

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Publications and Presentations:
"Quantitative Analysis of Metalloprotein Stoichiometry with PIXIE and PESA." J.D. Warner*, P.A. DeYoung, L.A. Ellsworth*, M.J. Rycenga*, L.M. Kiessel*, and G.F. Peaslee. Accepted for publication in Nucl. Inst. And Meth. B, (2010).
"PIXE and PESA Analysis of Metalloprotein Stoichiometry." G.F. Peaslee, P.A. DeYoung, L.A. Ellsworth*, L.M. Kiessel*, M.J. Rycenga*, and J.D. Warner*. PIXE 2007, 11th International Conference on Particle-Induced X-Ray Emission and its Analytical Applications. Puebla, Mexico. May 26, 2007.
"Orgin of Finer Grained (<150 micron) Dune Sand Along the Southeastern Coast of Lake Michigan: the Glacial Connection". Eric Johnson, Josh Warner, Graham Peaslee, Paul DeYoung, and Edward Hansen. Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America, Philadelphia, PA, October 2006. Paper No. 214-11.
"Origin of Finer Grained (¡150 micron) Dune Sand Along the Southeastern Coast of Lake Michigan: the Glacial Connection." Eric Johnson*, Josh Warner*, Graham Peaslee, Paul DeYoung, and Edward Hansen. Paer 214-11. Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America. Philadelphia PA, October 2006.