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/sci/ - Science & Math - Rock collecting

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Rock collecting Anonymous 06/26/14(Thu)19:50 UTC+1 No.6612670 Report

Is there a non-destructive way to find out the chemical elements on a rock?
Somewhat related, can I make a spectroscope at home? Maybe with a full spectrum light source to illuminate the rock, a light polarizer and curved mirror to concentrate the light, and a marked plane to measure the spectrum absortion?
If possible, would it be at least a bit reliable?

Also, are there any other science related tests or measurements that a rock collector could make to gain insight or accumulate information about the specimens?
Anonymous 06/26/14(Thu)21:00 UTC+1 No.6612775 Report

Take it to a geologist. He looks at it and tells you what it is and what it's made of.
Anonymous 06/26/14(Thu)21:06 UTC+1 No.6612787 Report

Thanks for the answer. I already know how to identify rocks. Once identified, with a geology book or wikipedia I can find out the chemical composition and other characteristics.

What I want is ways (methods, tests, etc) to identify the elements and any other physical or chemical properties by myself. That is, without resorting to tables and charts...
Anonymous 06/26/14(Thu)21:33 UTC+1 No.6612843 Report

You can create a spectroscope, but the readings will likely be too inaccurate for analysis at the molecular level. Since rocks are blends of various materials, you will find that any spectrums you recieve are super-positions rather than discrete identities. If you combine your spectral analysis with reverb analysis, you might be able to get some results. Reverb analysis is looking for normal modes and anamalies in a material whn it undegoes oscillatory stress. For this, you will need to probe the rock with a high precision cantilever to transduce the reverb in the material. To create the oscillation, a small mallet can be used. Use the scrape test to measure hardness and use that to decide how much pressure the mallet should apply. Idealy, it should be significant enough for the cantilever to pick up on the oscillations rather than outside noise. The infomation from both of these analyses should be able to yield a statistical distribution of what materials are inside the stone since you will know the spectrum, the bulk modulus, speed of wave propogation, modal frequencies, possibly anderson localizations, etc. The math for arriving at the distribution won't be easy however.
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