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Atomic force microscopy (AFM) or scanning force microscopy (SFM) is a very high-resolution type of scanning probe microscopy, with demonstrated resolution on the order of fractions of a nanometer, more than 1000 times better than the optical diffraction limit.
The The AFM is one of the foremost tools for imaging, measuring, and manipulating matter at the nanoscale.
The information is gathered by "feeling" the surface with a mechanical probe. Piezoelectric elements that facilitate tiny but accurate and precise movements on (electronic) command enable the very precise scanning.
Weber State University has received a National Science Foundation grant, requested by Drs. Colin Inglefield from the Physics Department and Marek Matyjasik from the Geoscience Department, in 2004 to purchase a new Pacific Nanotechnology atomic force microscope.
The AFM housed in the Physics Department has been used by dozens of physics and geosciences students to conduct their research studied with C. Inglefield and M. Matyjasik ant their collaborators from numerous universities.
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A first-of-its-kind project aimed at training geology students to collect and interpret ground-water data will became operational on the Weber State University campus on May 27, 1999.
The educational well field has been drilled and equipped by the Utah Ground Water Association, the U.S. Geological Survey and Weber State University.
In 1999 these were the first educational wells in the state aimed at providing students at WSU and other educational institutions the opportunity to conduct several types of aquifer tests, which typically involve pumping a known volume of water from a well and monitoring changes of water levels.
The USGS supplied the drilling rig, drilling crew, and an on-site hydrologist.
The drilling supply companies donated parts to construct the well and a pump to be used to conduct the aquifer tests.
The Utah Geological Survey has analyze drill cuttings -- the bits of rock and earth recovered from the hole -- by subjecting them to microscopic examination, and will also provide well logs and tables describing the earth material penetrated by the wells.
The joint effort has emphasizes the importance of this project in light of Wasatch Front growth and the limited amount of water resources in the region.
This educational well field is one of very few nationwide, and the only one in Utah.
Representatives from WSU, hydrologists from the USGS, geologists from the UGS, members of UGWA, and representatives of drilling firms that donated parts for the project have attend the first pumping, which is open to the public.
The educational well field since 1999 has been used to train hundreds of hydrologists and environmental geologists from Weber State University, Utah State University, and the University of Utah.
X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD)
X-ray diffraction (XRD) is the interaction between x-rays and the arrangement of atoms that make up the structure of crystalline materials.
An X-ray diffractometer is an instrument that generates x-rays and directs them at a sample and then measures the resulting diffraction. Although actually being diffracted, it is possible to think of the x-rays as being reflected off planes of atoms in the structure of the sample.
The instrument records these reflections and, through the application of Bragg's Law, allows the calculation of the d-spacing or distance between planes of atoms. A single d-spacing value may be common to many materials, but the group of d-spacings for a material is representative of a particular structure unique to a given chemical substance. Thus the main application in geosciences is the identification of minerals.
Only a small amount of sample is required, although it must be powdered. All crystalline substances can be identified whether organic, inorganic, alloy, or man-made.
Students usually use XRD in conjunction with field and other lab studies of rocks and minerals in a specific area. Outside of geosciences, chemists and physicists also make use of x-ray diffraction. Dr. Wilson in geosciences, Dr. Herzog in chemistry, and Dr. Inglefield in physics have involved students in the use of the instrument.
- Department of Geosciences
- Dr. Jeffrey Eaton
- Dr. Richard L. Ford
- Dr. Michael W. Hernandez
- Dr. David J. Matty
- Dr. Marek Matyjasik
- Dr. James R. Wilson
- Dr. W. Adolph Yonkee
- Facilities and Equipment
- Clubs & Orgs
- Field Trips