The Week 40 Forensic Science Geek of the Week Challenge

Our good friend, Ron Moore, Esquire writes us “I actually had a client researching lawyers who looked at the Truth About Forensic Science geek of the week posts and liked my answers. It made a difference in who he decided to hire. Thanks!” So, there is a lot of value in Forensic Science Geek of the Week Challenge. Try it out today.

Forensic Science Geek of the Week

Forensic Science Geek of the Week
Forensic Science Geek of the Week

Thanks to the combined inspiration of Christine Funk, Esquire and Chuck Ramsay, Esquire, a new twist of this blog is being introduced. A weekly fun forensic science challenge/trivia question. The winner will be affectionately dubbed “ Forensic Science Geek of the Week.”


  1. The challenge will be posted Sunday morning 12 noon EST.
  2. Answers to the challenge will be entered by responding to this blog post or the FaceBook fan page.
  3. All comments that are answers to this blog will released after 9pm EST.
  4. The first complete and correct answer will be awarded the envious title of “ Forensic Science Geek of the Week”
  5. “ Forensic Science Geek of the Week” is entitled a one time post of his/her picture on this blog and the FaceBook fan page. The coveted title will be his/her for that week. Additionally, a winner will be allowed one link to one webpage of his/her choice. Both the picture and the weblink is subject to the approval of Justin J McShane, Esquire and will only be screened for appropriate taste.
  6. The winner will be announced Sunday night.
  7. A winner may only repeat two times in a row, then will have to sit out a week to be eligible again. This person, who was the two time in a row winner, may answer the question, but will be disqualified from the honor so as to allow others to participate.
  8. This is for learning and for fun. EVERYONE IS ENCOURAGED TO TRY TO ANSWER THE WEEKLY QUESTION. So give it a shot.

Here it is:

The “Forensic Science Geek of the Week” challenge question. Remember the first full and complete answer wins the honor and also gets his/her photo displayed, bragging rights for the week and finally website promotion.


Forensic Science Geek of the Week Challenge
Forensic Science Geek of the Week Challenge

1. What is the name of this instrument?

2. What forensic science disciplines is it used for?

3. What is this instrument’s limitations?

The Hall of Fame for the Forensic Science Geek of the Week:
Week 1: Chuck Ramsay, Esquire

Week 2: Rick McIndoe, PhD

Week 3: Christine Funk, Esquire

Week 4: Stephen Daniels

Week 5: Stephen Daniels

Week 6: Richard Middlebrook, Esquire

Week 7: Christine Funk, Esquire

Week 8: Ron Moore, B.S., J.D.

Week 9: Ron Moore, B.S., J.D.

Week 10: Kelly Case, Esquire and Michael Dye, Esquire

Week 11: Brian Manchester, Esquire

Week 12: Ron Moore, B.S., J.D.

Week 13: Ron Moore, B.S., J.D.

Week 14: Josh Lee, Esquire

Week 15: Joshua Dale, Esquire and Steven W. Hernandez, Esquire

Week 16: Christine Funk, Esquire

Week 17: Joshua Dale, Esquire

Week 18: Glen Neeley, Esquire

Week 19: Amanda Bynum, Esquire

Week 20: Josh Lee, Esquire

Week 21: Glen Neeley, Esquire

Week 22:  Stephen Daniels

Week 23:  Ron Moore, B.S., J.D.

Week 24: Bobby Spinks

Week 25:  Jon Woolsey, Esquire

Week 26: Mehul B. Anjaria

Week 27: Richard Middlebrook, Esquire

WEEK 28: Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 29: Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 30: C. Jeffrey Sifers, Esquire

Week 31: Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 32: Mehul B. Anjaria

Week 33: Andy Johnston

Week 34: Ralph R. Ristenbatt, III

Week 35: Brian Manchester, Esquire

Week 36: Ron Moore, Esquire


Week 38: Pam King, Esquire

Week 39: Josh Lee, Esquire


6 Responses to “The Week 40 Forensic Science Geek of the Week Challenge”

  • It looks to me like the old UV spectrophotometer I used to use. We used it in drug analysis primarily for heroin. We would run a spectrum in both an acid and basic solution to see the shift in spectrum. It can be used for other types of chemical identification. You need a pretty clean / pure sample, it won’t separate mixtures, and it is non-specific. You can’t base an identification just on uv.

  • 1. It is a computer.

    2. All forensic scientists employ people to use the computer to type up their reports.

    3. Unlike its cousin, ‘the laptop,’ you cannot bring this computer on to a plane, as it is too bulky. Further, it requires electricity to work.

    PS. You have to present twice to advance in the Academy. Perhaps, now that you’ve dipped your toe into the water, you may want to present to Tox instead of Juris. Perhaps, “Why lawyers do what they do. . . ” or some such thing.

  • It is a Nicolet FT/IR with (likely) a diamond cell ATR. This is an odd way to place the ATR accessory in the sample compartment, but it will work.

    It can be used for paint comparison, fiber analysis, explosives identification, but most commonly for solid drug ID. With other accessories, it can be used to depth profile IR transmitting films.

    The major limitation is that the identities are never sure. IR gives good, but not definitive information. It also is not terribly sensitive. Although spectra can be deconvolved, and multiple components “identified” must be confirmed with another technique. However, it is great for non-volatile solids as well as volatiles (with the right sample cell). It is worthless on IR-opaque samples with the ATR accessory.

    I use it primarily with powders and films for which I have little information. It can be useful to provide an initial estimate.

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