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X-ray milliprobe
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: X-ray milliprobe analysis; x-ray milliprobe analysis
CATEGORY: tool; technique
DEFINITION: A specialized type of X-ray fluorescence spectrometry which satisfies the particular requirements of certain artifacts. The principle is the same as for X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, but an instrument directs a highly focused X-ray beam at a desired point(s) on the sample surface. Secondary X-rays emitted from this point are then directed to a detector and analyzed. The spectrometer is outside the artifact, in contrast to standard X-ray spectrometry where the specimen is inside the spectrometer. The advantage that the X-ray milliprobe has over the electron probe microanalyzer is the ease with which samples can be prepared. The technique has flexibility and the ability to analyze microscopic areas.
electron probe microanalysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: electron probe microanalyzer
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A physical method of chemical analysis which can determine the constituent elements in metal, stone, glass, pigments/stains, and pottery/ceramics. The technique is slightly destructive, requiring the removal of a small sample from the artifact. An electron beam is used to excite the atomic electrons and the result is the emission of secondary X-rays with characteristic wavelengths for the elements concerned. The beam can be focused on to a very small area of the specimen, and can be moved around to sample different points: thus the method is particularly useful for the study of surface enrichment in metals and of pigments. It can be used with samples as small as 10 -11 cubic centimeter and is similar to XRF (X-ray fluorescence spectrometry).
probe
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: soil probe
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: A tool consisting of a metal rod or tube pushed into unexcavated deposits to locate as yet unexposed hard features such as walls, floors, or bed rock. It is also used for exploring subsurface stratigraphy and is less expensive than a core but works down only a few meters.

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