There are many exciting new changes going on in the DRILL! We’re expanding into a new space and that means challenges with lighting. Because white light zeros or “bleaches” OSL signals, labs are equipped with special lights designed to minimize uncontrolled bleaching in the laboratory. Historically, lighting devices included sodium lamps (which are no longer available) and white incandescent, colored or white fluorescent light bulbs, and a variety of filters. With the advent of light emitting diodes (LEDs) we have more options, BUT, they still need to be tested and scrutinized with a scientific approach! In the new lab space, I have been working Karl Schoen, DRI’s senior electrician, to create an efficient and appropriate light system. We found track LEDs in 620-625 nm wavelength (safe for quartz and perhaps also for feldspar) that can be run on a dimmer switch to adjust the intensity. Rather than mount them on the ceiling, we mounted them above the bench work spaces to direct the light where we need it.
Next up, the best part about science: designing and running an experiment, in this case to test the lights for use for luminescence research. I’ll report back soon with my strategy and results! –AKZ