DC Baltimore

Baltimore-Washington Section of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy

January and February Historical Events in Chemistry by Leopold May, Department of Chemistry, Catholic University

Invitation to the Maryland Section ACS Picnic

From the Chairman - Local Section News

Happy New Year!

I hope that everyone had a pleasant holiday and ushered in the New Year in grand style. Some good news on a number of fronts:

1) Due to some fortunate timing, Dr. A.J. "Gus" Caffrey from the U.S. DOE's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory will be in the Washington area on Thursday, January 27, 2000. He has agreed to speak at the chapter's meeting that evening. His area of expertise is using spectroscopy – specifically neutron spectroscopy – for the identification of elements without the need for direct sampling. This is especially useful when one needs to identify the contents of potentially hazardous materials contained in a sealed container, package, vessel, drum, artillery shell, etc.

2) We have a tour speaker this year! Dr. Ed Yeung of Iowa State/Ames Lab will speak this spring to the Baltimore/Washington Section. His topic has been narrowed down to either A) Single Molecule Imaging: From Interrogating Interfaces to Diagnosing Disease; or B) Following the Dynamics of Single Biological Cells. Stay tuned - specific information will be announced soon along with our other annual event – Student Night!

Looking forward to seeing a continuation of the excellent attendance that we've had in conjunction with the recent meetings.

Sincerely, Larry Pollack
Chairman, Baltimore-Washington Section, SAS Society for Applied Spectroscopy

Meeting Announcement - Thursday, January 27, 2000

Portable Isotopic Neutron Spectroscopy (PINS) Chemical Assay System

Speaker: A. J. Caffrey, Ph.D., U.S. Department of Energy, Idaho National Engineering & Environmental Lababoratory

Biographical Sketch: Dr. A.J. Caffrey is an experimental nuclear physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Engineering & Environmental Lab (INEEL). He has worked at INEEL for 20 years on a variety of basic and applied physics projects. His interests include gamma-ray spectroscopy, the search for neutrinoless double-beta decay, and downhill skiing. Alas, he has been a lifetime Boston Red Sox fan.

Abstract: The Portable Isotopic Neutron Spectroscopy (PINS) Chemical Assay System is a field non-destructive evaluation tool that identifies the contents of munitions and chemical storage containers safely and reliably. PINS was initially developed by the U.S. Departments of Defense and Energy at Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory for arms-control treaty monitoring, and PINS has seen wide application for the identification of field-recovered projectiles and munitions that have lost their identification markings. As an example, the U.S. Army employs PINS routinely to identify World War I era munitions as they are unearthed in the Spring Valley neighborhood of Washington, D.C. PINS employs neutrons from a small radioisotopic source as probes of an item’s fill. All hazardous chemicals are, of course, composed of one or more chemical elements. When a chemical element's nucleus inelastically scatters or captures a free neutron, it emits gamma rays that are unique to that element much like a signature or fingerprint is unique to an individual. By analysis of the resulting gamma-ray energy spectrum, the PINS identifies the presence and measures the relative concentration of the chemical elements within a munition. From this spectroscopic data, the chemical fill of the item under test can be inferred, without opening a sealed vessel, drilling a casing, or handling potentially lethal materials, e.g. nerve agent sarin, contained within.

Date: Thursday, January 27, 2000

Place: Phineas – Serving Rockville for over 25 years! 1580 Rockville Pike (on the "Pike" across from Congressional Shopping Center) Rockville, Maryland (301) 770-5025

Time: 6 pm Social Hour (cash bar), 7 pm Dinner, 8 pm Seminar

Cost: $20 ($12 students) Menu: 1) Hibachi Chicken (herb marinated boneless chicken breast, redskin potatoes, and vegetables), 2) 10 Ounce Roast Prime Rib of Beef, Yorkshire popover, and redskin potatoes, 3) Baked Stuff Shrimp (stuffed with a seasoned shrimp and crabmeat stuffing and topped with "Imperial" sauce), served with rice pilaf, or 4) Fresh Fish of the Day, served with mixed vegetables and rice pilaf. Included with each entrée is the Famous Phineas salad bar, dessert (choice of ice cream, sherbet, or cheesecake), and a non-alcoholic beverage (e.g., soda, coffee/tea).


Reservations: Please make your reservations by NOON, Tuesday, January 25, 2000 by calling Larry Pollack at work (703) 810-4351 or at home (703) 256-6769. IF YOU RESPOND VIA e-MAIL, FOR THIS MEETING PLEASE SEND ELECTRONIC RSVP's TO: john.s.canham.1@gsfc.nasa.gov.

Directions: From I-270, take the Montrose Road exit, EAST. Travel east on Montrose Road approximately 2-3 miles. Turn LEFT at Rockville Pike (Route 355, North). Travel approximately 1 mile. Restaurant will be on right side of Rockville Pike, directly across from Congressional Shopping Center.

Click map for large (145k) version or go to YAHOO MAPS.

Highlights from the December SAS Meeting

Despite competition from a wild holiday party next door, Dr. Etz persevered and gave an interesting talk on the use of Raman microprobe spectroscopy in a wide variety of applications. Here are a few photos of the attendees and the speaker. It was really great to see Tom Kirkendall at the meeting. Tom, a former section chairperson, is retired from COMSAT. The loyal contingent from USDA Beltsville was there as well!

Your Baltimore-Washington Section Officers for 1999-2000:

Chair: Larry Pollack, Defense Threat Reduction Agency/US DoD (703) 810-4351, larry.pollack@dtra.mil
Chairman Elect: John S. Canham, NASA-Goddard 301-286-8970, john.s.canham.1@gsfc.nasa.gov
Secretary: Dave Hill, USDA, 301-504-8282, hill@307.bhnrc.usda.gov
Treasurer: Jeb Taylor, FDA, 301-827-5246, TAYLORJ@cder.fda.gov
Delegates: Scott Baker, USDA and Mike Epstein, NIST
Newsletter Editor: Kris Patterson, USDA, 301-504-9010, Fax: 301-504-9062, patterson@307.bhnrc.usda.gov
Science Fair and Student Award Committee: Bob Koons, FBI, 703-640-1538
I.L. Barnes Award: John Moody
Web page editor: Mike Epstein

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Visit our local section sponsor WWW pages:

Spectral Dimensions, Inc. designs and manufactures chemical imaging instrumentation. It is a privately owned company with its principal office located in Olney, MD. The company was formed in response to an increasing demand for new and more powerful spectroscopic imaging technologies. Its product line encompasses systems for performing FT-IR, NIR, and Raman imaging in a variety of basic research and process control applications. For the next generation of FTIR, NIR, or Raman spectral imaging systems, contact us! Phone: (301) 260-0290 Fax: (301) 260-0292, Email: info@spectraldimensions.com.

The Perkin-Elmer Corporation - Analytical Instruments Division. Take a look and you will see more: The AA ANALYST systems have set a new standard for flame and furnace users, utilizing true STPF conditions and total automation. The State of the Art OPTIMA 3000 series systems having sold nearly 2000 units in less than four years, has become a staple for ICP-OES users. With simultaneous and sequential versatility, increased speed and the widest dynamic range for ICP. The industry leader ELAN 6000 ICP-MS system which is installed in more than 50% of all environmental laboratories using ICP-MS worldwide has continued to be a stellar performer. Each of these systems have set new standards for the Analytical World, and there is more to come. Northeast Region Sales and Service, Inorganic Division, 761 Main Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06859-0010, PH 800-762-4000, FAX 203-762-4222

Gascoyne Labs LogoGascoyne Laboratories, a privately-owned and operated independent testing laboratory for environmental analyses. Now in its 113th year of continuous service. Contact info: 2101 Van Deman Street, Baltimore, MD 21224-6697, 1-800-GASCOYNE, (410) 633-1800, Fax (410) 633-6553

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Past Issues of the Baltimore-Washington Section Newsletter (including Historical Events in Chemistry for those months)

March 1999
April-May 1999
Summer 1999
September 1999
October 1999
November 1999
December 1999


Spectrum Go to the National SAS Home Page

For more information concerning Baltimore-Washington Section activities, email Larry Pollack (larry.pollack@dtra.mil)

Page prepared by: Mike Epstein
Last Modified: March 1, 2000