Our project for the 2017 Hydrodynamics challenge is about how to detect arsenic in well water. The problem is that people who drink from their well water are consuming arsenic because the arsenic is in their water. If you consume too much arsenic water, then you can get diarrhea, vomiting blood, stomach pain, and convulsions.
Arsenic is in all parts of the world, is a major problem in countries with high arsenic concentrations such as Pakistan and Bangladesh, and even the United States! It has a recommended amount that professionals want you to drink, which is 10 ppb (parts per billion). The thing is, most of us drink concentrations higher than that recommended amount and could be in danger of a lot of arsenic entering their body. Arsenic is not known from much because it is not at the top of the game. It is also invisible hiding in water, waiting for us to drink the water.
Our solution to that problem is to create a DIY spectroscope that will help detect arsenic. This DIY spectroscope will cost $6 to make and will take 20 minutes. The instructions will be only in pictures and no words so that it is easy to read. The DIY spectroscope, or Arsetect, is attached to a device’s camera, and when aimed at an illuminated water sample, it creates a spectrum.
We have an app, that takes the spectrum and turns it into a graph. The app then uses Beer Lambert’s Law to subtract any unwanted elements that might interfere with the readings and precisely calculates the amount of arsenic.
To play our video game, click here!