We tried to put it off but we could not avoid it- it is time to tackle the Frantz. The Frantz is a rather noisy machine that separates the magnetic and nonmagnetic components of our sample by running the grains between two electrically charged magnets. The point of all this is to further isolate the zircon minerals that we will be analyzing.
The crushed samples is fed into a funnel at the top right of the machine and travels between the magnets where it is separated into two buckets.
The only problem is that the machine has not been working properly. However, after fiddling with it for some time, I came across a video that made us a little less wary of the Frantz’s performance. In the video, the machine is doing what it should be- separating the grains- but they are being deposited in the wrong buckets based on what we know about how the magnets work. Fortunately, this has been what our machine has been doing so we decided to try it- and it works! Although still rather finicky, Mr. Frantz is churning out a separated sample and soon we will be able to move on to more separations- this time with some nasty liquids.