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Elemental Analysis of Ancient Roman Coins

After completing the lab activity, students will be able to:

  1. Design an effective sampling strategy of solids by considering the necessary aspects of matrix and analyte (e.g. population vs. sample, phase of sample, quantity available, homogeneity, chemical stability, distributional vs constitutional heterogeneity)
  2. Use qualitative tests to determine what quantitative analysis to pursue.
  3. Design an experiment to digest and dilute samples.
  4. Make standard solutions and prepare calibration curve.
  5. Use the calibration curve to quantify analyte.
  6. Apply statistics to determine uncertainty.
  7. Arrive at appropriate conclusion considering limits of sampling technique and its impact on the uncertainty.

Walter Bowyer (, Jonathan Thrall and Aaron Weitgenant, Hobart Williams Smith Colleges

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