Trio Presents Research at Symposium

Study looks at enhancement of atomic emission and atomic absorption lamps.  


Sara Goldstein ’11, Aneliese Apala ’11, and Alexander Raubach ’10 presented a poster, “Enhancement of Atomic Emission and Atomic Absorption Lamps” at Randolph College’s Symposium for Artists & Scholars on April 17, 2009.

The trio conducted the research project with their faculty mentor, Bill Mattson, professor of chemistry, while undergraduate students at Randolph College.

An abstract of the project follows...

The demonstration of atomic emission (AE) using AE lamps is common in introductory chemistry courses. Yet, lamps suffer from numerous limitations including expense (a different lamp is needed for each element), intensity (only a small portion of the emitted light is viewed with the spectroscope), and element limitation (only gaseous elements are used). The goal of this research is to design a versatile, intense, inexpensive AE lamp and power supply, useful for a variety of elements. To increase observed intensity, viewing using the redesigned lamp occurs along the entire length of the gaseous discharge. The lamp is either partially evacuated or pressurized with the gas of interest until optimal emission is achieved. With minor modifications (e.g., using a hollow metal cathode, argon gas, and a dc power supply), it is also anticipated that atomic emission lines from solid elements can be achieved, possibly allowing for the creation of flexible, inexpensive atomic absorption lamps.

The Student Symposium of Artists and Scholars provides Randolph College students from all classes and disciplines the opportunity to present the results of their research, scholarship, and creative work to the entire College community and beyond.

The two-day symposium, modeled after a typical academic conference, features oral presentations of student research, readings of creative work, musical performances, and exhibitions of student artwork. The symposium also includes a poster session, reception and a keynote address from a noteworthy academic speaker.

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