Copper homogeneity studies in meteorites Public Deposited

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  • The abundance of copper was determined in four to six one-gram specimens separated by a distance of several inches from each of 23 large chondritic fragments (greater than 1 kg) via instrumental neutron activation analysis and counting of the annihilation N-rays of ⁶⁴Cu. It is believed that an accuracy of better than 5% in absolute Cu abundance and a precision of better than 3% in relative Cu abundances was achieved. The olivine bronzite (H5) falls exhibited a Cu homogeneity dispersion range of 2.7% to 4.5% for the large individual meteorites. The Cu dispersion for the olivine bronzites (H5) finds consisting of nine fragments ranged from 3.1% to 9%. The olivine hypersthene (L6) falls showed a Cu dispersion of 5.3% to 12%. The olivine hypersthene finds showed a Cu dispersion range of 8.2% to 22%. The Cu dispersion for the single enstatite find was 26%. On the basis of the abundance and homogeneity of Cu in olivine bronzite finds, no distinct subgrouping was found. No significant correlation was established between Mn and Cu and between Na and Cu. Although the abundance of Cu in the falls and finds imply that terrestrial fractionation was not significant, the increase in dispersion from falls to the finds does imply that terrestrial fractionation might have occurred as a result of weathering in the chondritic finds. No significant concentration gradient for Cu was established. Assuming chondrites represent the initial accretion products from the primitive solar nebula in the asteroidal volume of the solar system, the homogeneity of Cu suggests that the nebula was homogeneous within 8 percent.
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