Hot Liquids

Earth Sciences staff member and Geochemical Support Technician Josh Landis points to the emission of light from Barium atoms in a water sample showing on the screen of an Inductively-Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometer. A water sample is sprayed into a stream of ionized Argon gas; the ionized Argon, in turn, excites all atomic constituents of the water sample, eliciting a release of energy in the form of light from the constituent atoms. The color of light emitted varies depending upon which elements were dissolved in the water sample, and the brightness of the light reveals how much of that element was present.


(photo by Eli Burak '00)

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Taken on February 16, 2012