MAURO FERMARIELLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MAURO FERMARIELLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gunshot residue. Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a piece of gunshot residue (GSR). GSR is produced during the firing of a gun. Various materials are used in the explosive mix that fires a bullet, and these are ejected from the gun in a cloud of tiny GSR particles. These are deposited on the hand and clothes of the person who fired the gun. An adhesive GSR stub is used to sample suspects for analysis. SEMs allow surface details to be examined and compared with SEMs of known samples of GSR, improving the quality of the evidence. X-ray beam energy dispersive analysis (EDA or EDX) is then used to identify the lead, antimony and barium that is found in GSR.
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