A Rasmuson Foundation grant of $25,000 has allowed the Alaska State Museum in Juneau to buy an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer.
The portable XRF shoots a small, controlled X‑ray beam at an object. It then measures the resulting movement of electrons, from which it can deduce the object’s chemical composition. The XRF works especially well at identifying heavier elements with more electrons. These materials include metals, minerals, and glass. It can also identify certain pesticide residues.
“Our mission is to identify, collect, preserve, and exhibit Alaska’s material,” said ASM Curator of Museum Services Scott Carrlee, of the XRF’s analytical value. “Thanks to the Rasmuson Foundation, we will be able to provide this technology to more than 80 museums and cultural centers all over the state.”
For more information, see www.museums.state.ak.us.