Conclusion lab 2 - Conclusion In the first part of the lab...

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Conclusion In the first part of the lab, the class was challenged to discover whether or not XRF could be a reliable measuring tool for the bulk matter of a sample or was limited to measuring the surface composition only. After completing the lab it was found that filing the penny and testing the shavings allowed for a 17.08 percent closer measurement of the copper content and a 16.92 percent closer measurement of the zinc content. The measurements from the filed pennies were undoubtedly closer to the actual percent compositions determined by the U.S. Mint. In order to make an estimate of the unknown sample’s composition a calibration curve of the data was needed. A plot of the copper peak count rate versus the percent mass of the copper compound allowed students to develop a trend line from which an estimate regarding the unknown could be taken. The unknown was measured twice using XRF and the two values were averaged together to minimize error in the unknown sample’s XRF analysis. From the calibration curve and the measured
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