Particle Induced X-ray Emission of Lake Sediment

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Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation, Department of Homeland Security, Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality, Outdoor Discovery Center, Macatawa Greenway Organization


Three recent ion beam analysis research projects are described that have been undertaken by the Hope College Nuclear Group. Success in the routine ion beam analysis of lake sediment as well as the elemental analysis of lake sediment for environmental fingerprinting is reported. In addition, a novel ion beam analysis detection method for organohalogen flame retardants in polyurethane foam is proposed, and in each of these research projects significant student training has occurred. Building on the success of prior research published in both nuclearPhysics and appliedPhysics, these projects involve undergraduate students in every aspect of the sample collection, data acquisition and data analysis. The combination of publishable scientific inquiry and undergraduate training using ion beam analysis is suggested as a model that could be done wherever there are appropriate accelerator facilities.