Published: November 13, 2017
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By: Farrah Glick, Cal State San Marcos
An FTIR ATR spectrometer is used to capture the response of the flattened face of a set of pine tree rings. We explore the possibility of gaining climate and/or weather triggers from the data.
The spectrometer is a Thermo Nicolet 4700 machine equipped with an ATR (attenuated total reflectance) fitting for the measurement of solid samples.
FTIR is Fourier Transform Infrared. Infrared is a type of electromagnetic light that is lesser in energy than visible light. Fourier Transform is the spectrometer machine's internal mathematical method that facilitates viewing and analysis of data.
ATR implies that the spectrometer machine's light beam is normalized before hitting the sample. The normalization is done by a zinc-selenium crystal.
Data achieved promises insight into a non-destructive method of studying large amounts of tree ring faces. Many spin-off projects can be had from this exploratory project.