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David Elmore

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David Elmore

Emeritus Professor of Physics
Office: Physics S153A via 8A
Telephone: (765) 494-6516
Pager: (765) 423-5172
Cell: (765) 412-2174
Fax: (765) 496-7228


Website: Personal homepage

B.S. Physics, Case Institute of Technology (Cleveland, OH), 1968.
Ph.D. Physics, University of Rochester (Rochester, NY), 1974.

Research Interests

My group's research interest are centered on applications of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). We operate a tandem electrostatic accelerator in the department of Physics to measure very low concentrations of the natural and man-made radionuclides 10Be, 14C, 26Al, 36Cl, 41Ca and 129I. Chemical preparation of samples is carried out in the Department of Chemistry. Accelerator mass spectrometry was developed, starting in the late 1970’s, for directly counting these radionuclides, improving the sensitivity by many orders of magnitude over conventional decay counting techniques. The Purdue Rare Isotope Measurement Laboratory (PRIME Lab) is one of only a few facilities in the nation capable of measuring these nuclides. We continue to improve the capacity and detection limits and routinely measure these nuclides in a wide range of sample types for both Purdue-based and external research projects. We encourage you to submit to us short seed proposals to fund sample measurements for feasibility studies prior to application for funding from the NSF or other agencies. Additional information is available on our Prime Lab web site.

This year we have made changes inside the accelerator to improve stability at high voltages and new run as high as 9 megavolts. This allows higher sensitivity especially for measuring 36Cl and 41Ca. We have designed and built a new cesium sputter ion source that will produce much higher beam currents especially for beryllium and aluminum. We are now testing the source and will install it on the accelerator in 2004. Other projects we will tackle soon are an upgrade to the stripper system at the accelerator terminal, a new beam line that will include a gas filled magnet for better isobar separation, and a faster data analysis system.


Our group continues to apply AMS to problems in biomedicine. Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by decreased skeletal mass and increased susceptibility to bone fractures. The health care costs related to hip fracture alone exceed $14 billion per year in the U.S. We are investigating the use of soy isoflavones as an alternative to estrogen replacement therapy for postmenopausal women by labeling the skeleton with 41Ca and then later monitoring 41Ca excreted in the urine on a weekly basis.

Teaching Accomplishments

Lectured introductory calculus-based mechanics and calculus-based electricity and magnetism. Introduced the McDermott tutorials to the mechanics course (1800 students per year). Presently lecturing algebra-based mechanics to technology students using peer instruction with response pads and just-in-time reading quizzes.

Professional Experience
  • Professor, Purdue University, 1993-present.
  • Associate Professor, Purdue University, 1989-1993.
  • Senior Research Associate, University of Rochester, 1988-1989.
  • Physicist, CER/BEM, Argonne National Laboratory, 1986-1988.
  • Senior Research Associate, University of Rochester, 1980-1986.
  • Research Associate, University of Rochester, 1974-1980.
Selected Recent Publications
  1. Cosmogenic nuclide evidence for minimal erosion across two subglacial sliding boundaries of the late glacial Fennoscandian ice sheet. Harbor J, Stroeven AP, Fabel D, Clarhall A, Kleman J, Li YK, Elmore D, Fink D., Geomorphology 75, (2006) 90-99.
  2. Determination of cosmogenic Cl-36 in rocks by isotope dilution: innovations, validation and error propagation. Desilets, D., et al., Chemical Geology, 2006. 233(3-4): p. 185-195.
  3. Ice sheet erosion patterns in valley systems in northern Sweeden investigated using cosmogenic nuclides. YK. Li, J. Harbor, AP. Stroeven, D. Fabel, J. Kleman, D. Fink, M. Caffee, D. Elmore, EARTH SURFACE PROCESSES AND LANDFORMS 30 (8): (2005) 1039-1049.
  4. Incorporation of I-129 from nuclear sources into lacustrine sedimentry organic matter: a case study in the Great Lakes. U. Rao, Y. Muramatsu, M. Kruge, D. Elmore, GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA 69 (10): (2005) A-713-A713, Suppl. S.
  5. Near-conservative behavior of I-129 in the Orange County aquifer system, California. KA. Schwehr, PH. Santschi, JE. Moran, D. Elmore, APPLIED GEOCHEMISTRY 20 (8): 2005 1461-1472.
  6. The dissolved organic iodine species of the isotopic ratio of I-129/I-127: A novel tool for tracing terrestrial organic carbon in the estuarine surface waters of Galveston Bay,Texas. Schwehr KA, Santschi PH, Elmore D Limnology and Oceanography-Methods 3, (2005)   326-337. 
  7. Variable responses of Western US glaciers during the last delaciation. JM. Licciardi, PU. Clark, BR. Martin, D. Elmore, JR. Nolan, M. Peacock, GP, McCabe, CM. Weaver. Geology 32 (1): (2004) 81-84 
  8. The earliest shellmounds of the cental – south Brazilian coast.  TA. Lima, KD. Macario, RM. Anjos, PRS. Gomes, MM. Coimbra, D. Elmore, Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research Section B-Bean Interacions With Materials and Atoms (2004) 223-24: 695-699.
  9. AMS radiocarbon dating on campos basin, southeast Brazilian continental slope. KD. Macario, RM. Anjos, PRS. Gomes, AG. Figueiredo, CL. deSouza, CF. Barbosa, MM. Coimbra, D. Elmore, Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research Section B-Beam Interactions With Materials and Atoms ( 2004) 223-24: 535-539.
  10. AMS Dating of Early Shellmounds of ther southeastern Brazilian coast. TA. Lima, KD. Macario, RM. Anjos, PRS. Gomes, MM. Coimbra, D. Elmore. Brizilian Journal of Physics 33 (2): (2003) 276-279.
  11. Accelerator mass spectrometry in geologic research, P. Muzikar, D. Elmore, D.E. Granger, Geol Soc am bull 6 (2003) 643
  12. Dating rupture events on alluvial fault scarps using cosmogenic nuclides and scarp morphology. FM. Phillips, JP. Ayarbe, JBJ. Harrison, D. Elmore. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 215 (1-2): (2003) 203-218.

» Complete publication listing (pdf)

Last Updated: Jul 25, 2023 10:21 AM

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