Thursday, February 23, 2012

FrankenAA, Introduction

This is a project update post.  As some of you may know, I recently purchased an Atomic Absorption spectrophotometer.  Most of my friends are scientists, so they are familiar with the method, but for the layperson it sounds like a bunch of nonsense.  Simply put, it passes a sample through a flame and measures the effect it has on light passing through it.  By measuring the difference between the source and the light that travels through the sample to the detector, it is possible to determine concentrations of specific atoms based on their absorption spectrum (which is unique for each element).

I plan on refurbishing/modernizing this particular one (Perkin Elmer 5000, built in 1979) for water quality analysis and support of my brewing hobby.  Since the water will most likely be analyzed to determine its suitability for brewing, I'm going to have to acquire lamps and standards for, at the very least, calcium and copper.

Project cost to date:
Spectrophotometer $75
Shipping $298
Total: $373

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