Friday, March 23, 2007

What a Smart Brother!

Tomorrow morning my brother, Isaac, will be leaving for Chicago to attend the annual American Chemical Society conference. At the conference he will be presenting his Senior Assignment. I was able to visit him on Tuesday while he presented his assignment to the Chemistry faculty at SIUE. Here are a few pictures of him and the project he's worked so hard on for the last two semesters...
Here he is giving a short presentation about his research to a group of freshman Chemistry students. The title of his research is: "Semi-Quantitative Powder X-ray Diffraction in an Instrumental Analysis Laboratory." Got that? Maybe if you read the abstract you might understand a little better:

"Although powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) is widely used for qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis of powders is problematic due to many factors that affect line intensities. In an upper level instrumental analysis laboratory, students have successfully obtained semi-quantitative results using the MDI Jade with Easy-quant software package. Easy-quant is based on the technique of Reference-Intensity-Ratios (R-I-R) and peak profiling. In this hands-on experiment, students grind the powders to ensure adequate mixing and small particle size, pack the powders into sample holders, collect PXRD patterns on a Rigaku/MSC MiniFlex+ powder X-ray diffractometer, and analyze the data using Easy-quant. A first unknown is used as an introduction to the technique, and a second unknown challenges students to use deductive and scientific reasoning to identify the compounds and determine the weight percent of each phase. This experiment demonstrates the ease at which non-destructive methods can be used to quantify solid mixtures."

Easy as pie, right? Yeah.

Isaac is discussing his research with one of his Chemistry advisors, Dr. Shaw (who seems slightly bothered by the fact that I'm taking pictures of him).

Isaac is explaining his research to a classmate of mine, Andrew (in the blue), and a friend from Bible study, Natalie (in the pink). Meanwhile, Erica (another friend from Bible study) is anxiously waiting for her next opportunity to discuss her research with an advisor.


strem said...

First of all, GO ISAAC! I would have loved to have heard that presentation!

I will ask my brother to come over to your blog because he will be able to fully understand Isaac's abstract. Not me. Oh... and I think I might know Dr. Shaw. Remind me to talk to you about this later.

Elizabeth said...

Smart brothers are pretty nice to have, aren't they? I have got two that fit that catagory (But Asa, the preacher, doesn't always realize it).
Also, this makes is very glad I was never tempted to want to be a chemistry major!

oldbaptistadam said...

Oh my! I don't think I could even understand a word of all that. Smart guy that Isaac is!