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NCJ Number: 228196 Find in a Library
Title: Forensic Glass Comparison: Background Information Used in Data Interpretation
Author(s): Maureen C. Bottrell
Date Published: April 2009
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation
Quantico, VA 22135
Sale Source: US Dept of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation
Laboratory Branch
2501 Investigation Parkway
Quantico, VA 22135
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper provides an overview of why glass and the nature of its constituent materials and manufacture make it an important item of evidence from a crime scene and when transferred to a suspect, followed by detailed descriptions of the forensic analysis and comparison of glass samples.
Abstract: Introductory information on modern glass manufacturing notes that although it is a highly automated process that produces glass with large-scale uniformity, minor variations in the properties of the resulting glass remain. Each of the raw materials used to produce glass contains impurities that are uncontrolled by the manufacturer and consequently vary in amount and composition over time. Thus, glass products have small but measurable variations in their chemical, optical, and physical properties both within and between production runs. A section on the “transfer and persistence” indicates that experimental studies have shown that glass fragments have been recovered from up to 4 meters away from a breaking glass object. Glass fragments can be transferred onto anything within this distance. Factors that control the number of glass fragments that can be transferred are discussed, as well as factors that determine whether the glass that is deposited on clothing persists to be available for recovery by a forensic examiner. The section on forensic glass analysis discusses the initial examinations, glass color and fluorescence, thickness, surface features, curvature, optical properties, immersion methods, Emmons double variation, an automated method for refractive index determination of glass fragments, density, and elemental analysis. Forensic methods described are scanning electron microscopy and X-ray fluorescence, neutron activation analysis, spark-source mass spectrometry, flameless atomic absorption spectrometry, and inductively coupled plasma methods. Remaining sections of the paper discuss interpretations/conclusions and the reporting of conclusions. 112 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Forensic sciences; Glass analysis; Investigative techniques; Spectroscopy
Note: From Forensic Science Communications, V 11, N 2, April 2009; downloaded September 1, 2009.
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