Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers get clearer view of Earth’s atmosphere --- from the laboratory

24.06.2005


For scientists who want to discern the complex chemistry at work in Earth’s atmosphere, detecting a particular gas molecule can be as hard as finding a proverbial needle in a haystack.



Frank De Lucia, professor of physics at Ohio State University , and his colleagues recently used their FAST Scan Submillimeter Spectroscopy Technique (FASSST) to make the job easier.

The technique offers a way for scientists to examine the spectrum of light given off by a molecule. Each molecule has its own one-of-a-kind spectral pattern, like lines in a bar code. FASSST takes a snapshot of a wide range of spectral wavelengths, so scientists can easily recognize the pattern of the molecule they are looking for. Experiments that have traditionally taken weeks or months can be completed in a few seconds.


At the 60th International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy, hosted by Ohio State University , De Lucia and doctoral student Andrey Meshkov reported that the FASSST technique can be used to help scientists remove the signals from molecules that interfere with studies of gas systems such as Earth’s atmosphere.

De Lucia used the example of a problem common to his collaborators at NASA: satellite measurements of chemicals involved in the creation or destruction of ozone.

“Say you’re trying to look though the atmosphere to see small amounts of hydrogen peroxide. You have to understand how the signal from the hydrogen peroxide changes as it travels through the atmosphere to a satellite,” he said. “The path that the signal follows can be thousands of kilometers long, so you have to be able to subtract out the part of the atmosphere that you don’t care about to get at the really small effects that you do care about.”

The background signal from other molecules that scientists are not interested in -- frequently molecules of water, oxygen, or nitrogen -- is called the continuum. FASSST lets scientists get a handle on the continuum signal by essentially freezing an atmosphere in time so scientists can remove the parts they don’t want.

In their latest results reported at the symposium, De Lucia and Meshkov used FASSST to simultaneously measure the contributions of water, oxygen, and nitrogen to the continuum in an experimental gas mixture they created in the laboratory.

De Lucia said his colleagues at NASA and elsewhere can use experimental data from FASSST to better interpret satellite data and reduce error in their measurements.

The same technique aids detection of chemicals in the lab in general. Several of the presentations at the symposium are based on FASSST analyses of chemicals important to research in astronomy and biology.

Frank De Lucia | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.osu.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers
20.09.2017 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices
19.09.2017 | Graphene Flagship

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>