Have you ever wondered whether the forensic science you've seen on TV is anything like the real thing? There's no better way to find out than to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. This full-color book offers advice for setting up an inexpensive home lab, and includes more than 50 hands-on lab sessions that deal with forensic science experiments in biology, chemistry, and physics. You'll learn the practical skills and fundamental knowledge needed to pursue forensics as a lifelong hobby--or even a career.
The forensic science procedures in this book are not merely educational, they're the real deal. Each chapter includes one or more lab sessions devoted to a particular topic. You'll find a complete list of equipment and chemicals you need for each session.
- Analyze soil, hair, and fibers
- Match glass and plastic specimens
- Develop latent fingerprints and reveal blood traces
- Conduct drug and toxicology tests
- Analyze gunshot and explosives residues
- Detect forgeries and fakes
- Analyze impressions, such as tool marks and footprints
- Match pollen and diatom samples
- Extract, isolate, and visualize DNA samples
Through their company, The Home Scientist, LLC (thehomescientist.com/forensics), the authors also offer inexpensive custom kits that provide specialized equipment and supplies you'll need to complete the experiments. Add a microscope and some common household items and you're good to go.
About the Author
Robert Bruce Thompson is a coauthor of Building the Perfect PC, Astronomy Hacks, and the Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders. Thompson built his first computer in 1976 from discrete chips. It had 256 bytes of memory, used toggle switches and LEDs for I/O, ran at less than 1MHz, and had no operating system. Since then, he has bought, built, upgraded, and repaired hundreds of PCs for himself, employers, customers, friends, and clients. Robert spends most clear, moonless nights outdoors with his 10-inch Dobsonian reflector telescope, and is currently designing a larger, computerized, truss-tube Dobsonian that he plans to build.Barbara Fritchman Thompson is, with her husband Robert, the co-author of numerous books about computers, science, and technology. With her Masters in Library Science and twenty years' experience as a public librarian, Barbara is the research half of our writing team.