pXRF Short Course

Shane Butler, Zak Lasemi, Randy Hughes, William Roy, Nathan Webb, and Rich Cahill of the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) and Amanda Butler and Sarah Wisseman of the Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) attended a two-day short course on the use of a portable x-ray fluorescence machine (pXRF) with Bruce Kaiser, a representative from the Bruker Corporation on November 4-5, 2010. The attendees of the short course gained hands-on experience with the machine to become familiar with it and understand its capabilities by focusing on topics such as x-ray theory and technology, fundamentals of x-ray interaction physics, sample analysis, analysis software operation, analysis of unknown materials, and quantification and limitations. Bruce Kaiser also provided software for the participants to use for data analysis. The machine is capable of detecting elements from magnesium to plutonium and is a non-destructive analysis technique.