Test Drive on the SEM

Collaboration with the Geology Department

Last week we tested two samples using the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). Similar to the ICP machine, the SEM provides us with an elemental breakdown of the sample. However, the SEM does not display exact concentrations, but rather relative percentages. Therefore, the data gathered from the SEM will not stand alone, but rather support our ICP results.

All three of these images show parts of shells. When analyzed, the tests showed high levels of calcium which is consistent with oyster shells. This provides us with valuable information concerning the procurement of the mortar. Although this testing was not the crux of our research, it provides us with relevant data which we might use in further research this fall.

Special thanks to Dr. Tibert and Dr. Hayob from the geology department with their help on the SEM machine. We hope to expand our research and collaborate with them again in the future.

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