2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

Optimization of Photon Activation Analysis for Assay of Ore
Lauren R. Liegey
Dr. Valeriia Starovoitova (Idaho State University) and Dr. Vayujeet Gokhale, Faculty Mentors

In this project, our goal was to show that it is possible to use Photon Activation Analysis (PAA) to detect the amount gold in a sample of ore. We also wanted to find the optimal experimental conditions to minimize our detection limit. Finally, using the data we collect and our analysis, we wanted to compare PAA to other current methods for the assay of ore to determine whether it is a comparable or even better method than those in existence. This presentation will focus on the second goal. After irradiating a sample which contained a known concentration of gold with photons generated by an electron beam accelerator, we took data on how the beam energy and cooling time affected the detection limit. We found that the optimal conditions to minimize detection limit were a cooling time of 125 hours and a beam energy of 30 MeV.

Keywords: Photon Activation Analysis, Gold Mining, Detection Limits

Topic(s):Physics

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 102-2
Location: MG 1096
Time: 8:15

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