Nik Smerkolj (year 3) in cooperation with Marko Jeran from The National Chemistry Institute, Ljubljana presented his research on 28th October 2017 at Mineralientage Show in Munich, entitled World of Minerals, Gems, Jewellery & Fossils. The event hosted prominent experts from different fields, presenting their research work and mineral collections. Nik was invited there as the lead author of his research. Being the youngest lecturer at the conference, it was a big honour to have taken part.
Nik has always been interested in chemistry. His primary school teacher Petra Škofic Valjavec takes most of the credit for his development in this field. She was also the mentor of his research work entitled Reasons for Colour and Fluorescence of fluorite. The research was published in 2015 and finished with substantial assistance from Natural History Museum in Slovenia in particular by Miha Jeršek from the University in Ljubljana. Colour is one of the most important features of any mineral. Some minerals have their own unique typical colour, others can appear in various colours, fluorite being one of them. During the research two methods were used: PIXE and XRF. It was found out that some elements affecting the colour have the so-called F-centres. Another reason for colouring is the inclusion of other minerals, cracks, gaps and growth in more layers.
At the moment Nik is working on a new research covering a similar topic. /Nik Smerkolj/