Principles of laser-based isotope ratio measurements (sponsored by: Aerodyne Research Inc, Picarro Inc., and Los Gatos Research)
Convener: E. Kerstel  | Co-Convener: Gianfrani 
Mon, 20 Apr, 13:30–17:00  / Room SM2

We propose to organize a Short Course or Master Class on the subject of laser-based isotope ratio measurements. The course is aimed at those isotope scientists who do not have a firm background in spectroscopy or laser science, but who are nevertheless considering the use of laser instruments in their own research fields, including biomedicine, ice-core research, ecology, and the atmospheric sciences. We believe this initiative is highly opportune, considering the recent arrival of several commercial instruments for isotope measurements on molecules like carbon dioxide and water, which are characterized by a low capital investment cost and promise to be relatively easy to operate. These instrumentation enable in-situ, continuous measurements in the field, and therewith isotope studies that were previously practically impossible to carry out. Still, the instruments are not immune to systematic errors. In order to detect these it is essential to have some understanding of the basic operating principles of the technique(s) used. This is also important in order to be able to design an adequate measurement strategy, including isotope scale calibration.
We will discuss the fundamentals of the relevant optical techniques, in a manner accessible to the non-specialist, as well as sample handling and calibration issues that are specific to the laser instrumentation.
We request a time slot of 3 to 4 hours.