Bulletin of the American Physical Society
5th Joint Meeting of the APS Division of Nuclear Physics and the Physical Society of Japan
Volume 63, Number 12
Tuesday–Saturday, October 23–27, 2018; Waikoloa, Hawaii
Session HA: Conference Experience for Undergraduates Poster Session (2:00pm - 3:45pm)
Friday, October 26, 2018
Hilton Room: Grand Promenade
Abstract ID: BAPS.2018.HAW.HA.38
Abstract: HA.00038 : Proton Induced X-Ray Emission (PIXE) Analysis to Measure Trace Metals in Soil Along the East River in Queens, New York*
The Union College Ion-Beam Analysis Lab’s 1.1 MV tandem Pelletron accelerator is used to determine the presence of heavy trace metals in Queens, NY between Astoria Park and 3.5 miles south to Gantry State Park. A PIXE analysis was performed on 0.5 g pelletized soil samples with a 2.2 MeV proton beam. The results show the presence of elements ranging from Ti to Pb with the concentration of Pb in Astoria Park (2200 ± 200 ppm) approximately ten times that of the Gantry State Park. We hypothesize that the high lead concentration at Astoria Park is due to the nearby Hell Gate Bridge, painted in 1916 with lead based paint, then sandblasted and repainted in the ’90s. To test this, soil samples were collected and analyzed from different locations north and south of the bridge. The concentrations of lead decreased drastically within a 500 m radius and were approximately constant at greater distances south the bridge. More samples need to be collected to identify the potential source of Pb. We will describe the experimental procedure, the PIXE analysis of soil samples, and present preliminary results on the distribution of heavy trace metals.
*Thank you to Union College Department of Physics and Astronomy, APS Conference Experience for Undergraduate
To cite this abstract, use the following reference: http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2018.HAW.HA.38
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