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Crystal Kinetics Laboratory
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Congratulations to Caleb for winning the #IUCr  Pauling Poster Prize at this years ACA meeting!

https://wkunews.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/geology-chappell/
Caleb Chappell of Crestwood, a junior in the WKU Geology program, was awarded the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) Pauling Poster Prize at the annual American Crystallographic Associat...
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The 65th Annual Meeting of the American Crystallographic Association is happening this July 25-29 in Philadelphia.  Let us know if you are going and keep in touch in the comments!

Caleb Chappell submitted an abstract, titled "Modeling the crystal structure and ion exchange mechanisms of rare earth elements into zorite" will be presented in two sessions:

First:  Undergraduate and Graduate Student Reception (all are welcome to come by, refreshments are provided!)

Second: SESSION: 2.1.1 Porous and Meso-scale Structures

Abstract:
Nanoporous materials have a long and important history in petroleum and enivronmental sciences. The ion diffusion properties of natural zeolites and their synthetic analogues have been used successfully for catalysis and molecular separation during the petroleum refinement processes, and also for the advancement of heavy metal and radioactive waste seperation technologies. The goal of our research is to understand the processes that direct ion diffusion and allow for specific ion selectivity in nanoporous sodium titanium silicates zorite (Na-ETS-4). Here we detail the synthesis, crystal structure, and cation exchange mechanisms of rare earth element yttrium, with further discussions concerning the sequestration of other REE cations europium, gadolinium, terbium.

Single crystals of zorite where successfully grown using hydrothermal techniques, and the composition and crystal structure were characterized using inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction using both single crystal and powder methods. In order to resolve the diffusion mechanisms, time-resolved Raman spectroscopy experiments were conducted to follow the ion exchange process in situ (see figure). Changes in thermal stability were also measured for the pre- and post- exchanged zorite.

To summarize the results of the ion exchange study, the REE ion exchange processes follow several distinct steps where molecular distortion modifies channel geometry, a transient dynamic disorder event occurs, and guest cations migrate to optimize bond-valence sums. The end results is a more porous channel as the REE moves close to the framework oxygen sites, and there are fewer cations in the channel. Having zorite possessing a more open nanoporous channel structure may have applications in improved gas sensing and catalytic cracking technologies.

IMAGE: Example time-resolved data plotted in 3D for the yttrium exchange into Na-zorite.
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Are you a recent geology B.S. or M.S.?  Here is job for your petrography skills.
Terracon is a 100 percent employee-owned consulting engineering firm providing quality services to clients. Since 1965, Terracon has evolved into a successful multi-discipline firm specializing in: Environmental, Facilities, Geotechnical, and Engineering Services. Over its history, Terracon has achieved significant expansion through both internal growth and acquisitions. Terracon currently has more than 3,600 employees in 140 offices and 39 state...
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A different way of ranking journals - by user experience.  Check it out and write your reviewers.  
Journalysis is a free service for academic authors run by academic authors for reviewing experiences with academic journals. We're incredibly excited to have only just had our soft launch, so the site will be undergoing some minor changes in aesthetics over the coming weeks.
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The lab has a new instagram page.  Check it out.  
http://instagram.com/crystal_kinetics_lab/

We will be posting pictures of minerals and lab related events often.
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Dr. Celestian's research is highlighted in the American Chemical Society Annual Report!  Check it out!
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Have them in circles
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It's official, Dr. Celestian is moving to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County!  He will be the Associate Curator of the Mineral Sciences.
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Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America.  This definitely hits home at the university level.  Despite our best efforts to erase the fear of intellectualism, it still persists.  How can we fix this?
Social dysfunction can be traced to the abandonment of reason
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Dr. Celestian's GitHub repository updated, well, it's really just being started. It now includes a script to compile all your time-resolved Raman or XRD into Pandas for plotting.  Using a second script (plot_data.py), you can make 3D line plots, 3D surface plots with or without contour map, or just a contour map.  It works pretty well at making some high resolution images.  All the source code is free, and there are some instructions to get you started.  This is just a starting point.  Future updates will likely include some basic statistics and ways of compare both XRD and Raman data under the exact same experimental conditions.
3D-plotting-Raman-XRD-series - take times series data, e.g. Raman or XRD, and plots in 3D and contour
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A nice explanation of Fourier transforms with animations!

http://betterexplained.com/articles/an-interactive-guide-to-the-fourier-transform/

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An interesting and easy to read primer in crystallography and inorganic chemistry.  Could be a useful reference while studying!
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Today's Google Doodle (May 12, 2014) is the structure of penicillin in honor of Dorothy Hodgkin's Birthday! 
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Mineralogy - Geochemistry - Dynamics
Introduction
@ WKU The primary goal of the group's research is to quantify the mobility and behavior of molecular species in, on, and around natural and engineered crystalline materials as they pertain to the problems and issues in society.
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ATTN: CK Lab Western Kentucky Univeristy Geography and Geology 1906 College Heights Blvd Bowling Green, KY 42101