Through support from the National Science Foundation (Major Research Instrumentation program, funded through Marine Geology & Geophysics in the Division of Ocean Sciences), we have established a new Noble Gas Geochemistry Laboratory at Oregon State University. In this lab we use noble gases to study a wide range of geochemical problems.
The primary instrumentation includes a noble gas mass spectrometer (Noblesse model from Nu Instruments,) a high-temperature vacuum furnace and an on-line crushing system for the extraction and analysis of noble gases extracted from terrestrial materials.
The noble gases (helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon) are unique for their utility in addressing fundamental questions about the history and dynamics of Earth systems.
The range of scientific applications of noble gas measurements is very broad, touching many fields of interest, including: