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Wave Nature of Light of Minerals

  1. Apr 11, 2010 #1
    I'm in my physics course right now and recently became interested in mineral deposits and my teacher told me to look into how geologists use the wave nature of light to find mineral deposists.. im not sure if im just really confused about the subject or if I just cant find anything
    but can anyone help me with a general idea or show me where I can learn about this?!

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 11, 2010 #2
    perhaps something along the lines of beaming ELF waves (not VISIBLE spectrum of light but part of Electromagnetic radiation) into the earth and watching for interference patterns(wave nature)?
    Not sure I'll wait until someone more knowledgeable chimes in but I do recall reading something similar to what I just wrote...
  4. Apr 11, 2010 #3


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    Inverse scattering methods. There are a couple of things that we can do and I know a number of my advisor's former students have gone to work doing this kind of thing for oil companies. What they can do is have a low frequency antenna that sends out a signal and have a series of probes in the ground or receiving antennas on the surface. A few basic things they can do is assume that the ground is layered in something like air->soil->rock->oil->rock. Using measurements they can estimate the depth of the oil layer but that is a very coarse estimate. A better thing to do is have a distribution of receiving antennas and send out a pulse into the ground and measure the scattered fields at the antennas. Then they can use inverse scattering methods to try and get a three-dimensional image of the soil and find areas of high contrast that will indicate oil (or some other target material).

    Certain mineral deposits would be easier. Ferrites will have high conductivity and thus present a very strong contrast to lower conductive rock. Mainly we are looking for contrasts in the conductivity and permittivity of the medium. Just how efficient these methods are I cannot say but I have done some theoretical work for a project along similar lines.
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