October 9, 2011

Accretionary Wedge #39: Geochemist Barbie

Posted by Evelyn Mervine

Geochemist Barbie prepares to make aqua regia.

Here’s my entry for Accretionary Wedge #39: Dress Barbie Like a Geologist for Halloween!

Geochemist Barbie keeps busy in the clean lab! She wears a white, full-body tyvek jumpsuit to protect herself from chemicals. The suit also keeps dust and dirt out of the lab so that Geochemist Barbie can avoid contamination of her precious rock samples.

Geochemistry is dangerous work! For instance, today Geochemist Barbie has to mix up some aqua regia (70% hydrochloric acid or HCl and 30% nitric acid or HNO3), which she is going to use to clean out teflon beakers for her next set of rock dissolutions. Aqua regia is a very dangerous chemical, so Geochemist Barbie wears long, purple, nitrile gloves, bright pink safety glasses (which are definitely *not* sunglasses filched from Beach Barbie… I swear…) , and a plastic face shield for protection. She also keeps her long blonde hair tied up in a net so that it stays out of her way and also so that it does not fall into her sample beakers or chemicals.

A closer look at Geochemist Barbie's hair net, safety goggles, and face shield.

Geochemist Barbie thinks chemistry is fun!