Scientists can get often get a bit silly with acronyms. My favorite example is LA-MC-ICP-MS which stands for laser ablation multi-collector inductively coupled mass spectrometer. This instrumental method is used for in situ micro-analysis of solids. The primary application of this method is to measure the isotopic ratios of elements used in radiogenic and stable […]

NordSIM – Stockholm

Until now most of the posts have been about geologists traveling strictly for fieldwork. However, this is not the only reason geologists travel. Recently I made a non-fieldwork related trip to Stockholm, Sweden to use a Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (SIMS) housed at their Natural History Museum. The NordSIM facility is operated as a collaborative […]


Zircons are — more often than not — the reason why I travel. Zircon is a zirconium (number 40 on the periodic table) bearing silicate mineral (ZrSiO4). Zircon is an extremely important mineral for geologists because although Zr is the dominant cation, zircon also contains several other large cations such as uranium, hafnium, and rare […]