Canberra invention sold overseas
An invention developed in Canberra which measures the age of rocks has been sold to a research university in Spain for $6 million.
The SHRIMP [Sensitive High Resolution Ion Microprobe] was invented by scientists at the Australian National University to determine the age of geology samples which are believed to be millions of years old.
The University of Granada bought the SHRIMP through the ANU\’s commercial wing, Australian Scientific Instruments.
It weighs 12 tonnes.
ASI spokesman Ed Roberts says previous tests have found the machine analyses tiny chemicals and materials with great accuracy to determine how old particular samples are.
«The beauty of the Shrimp is that it can tell the age of each ring,» he said.
«And these rings might only be a tenth of a micron in breadth. So you need a very big machine to look at a very small spot, on a small rock to give you a very exact number about a very ancient date.»