Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Physics and Astronomy
aerosols, pollution, Adirondacks, lakes, particulates
Chemical studies of lakes and aerosols in the Adirondack region of New York State have found evidence of environmental pollution resulting in acid rain. We obtained air samples for July and September 2012 from Piseco Lake and analyzed particulate depositions with Proton Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) spectrometry. We detected an array of light elements, including sulfur particulates in the 0.25 - 8 μm range, possibly stemming from coal combustion in the Appalachians and Mid-West of the United States. We also found systematic errors with the accelerator charge integration system due to beam spreading after the beam passes through the target. This alerted us to the need for a Faraday cup with greater cross-sectional area to collect all of the charge that passes through the target.
Margulies, Adam, "Proton Induced X-ray Emission Spectrometry of Atmospheric Aerosols at Piseco Lake" (2013). Honors Theses and Student Projects. 701.