Isotope Mass Spectrometry Course

Next course date TBC – School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol

Course open to:  All years

Course organiser: Dr Chris Coath &  Professor Tim Elliott

Course fee for non GW4+ PhD students : £100

Registration: non GW4+ PhD students should apply directly to gw4plus-dtp@bristol.ac.uk

The course will outline key aspects of making isotopic measurements in Earth Science applications.  The approach will sequentially follow from sample preparation through to data analysis.  The participants will undertake a couple of practical exercises to familiarise them with some of the numerical manipulation required.  The course will focus mainly on instrumentation and a range of isotopes may be covered.

By the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Understand the main components involved in making isotope ratio measurements.
  • Undertake basic data reduction

Pre-requisite knowledge:

  • Basic maths, physics and chemistry

Outline of training programme (subject to change)

Day 1 – Sample preparation and introduction: chemical separation and laser ablation.

Mass spectrometry hardware.  Sources, mass separation, ion optics, and detection

Day 2 – Measurement.  Blanks, mass bias, detector considerations, bracketing methods, internal mass-bias correction, the double-spike method.

A practical session making an isotope ratio measurement

Day 3 –  Calculation exercises

 

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