shutterstock_211924918I found myself laughing uncontrollably as I pulled into the grocery store parking lot last week. I was sitting at the traffic light entrance to the shopping complex when my rearview mirror was suddenly filled with the front grille and license plate of the vehicle that had pulled up behind me. I drive the “mom-style” SUV myself, so I was curious to know what was idling behind me as there aren’t many cars or SUVs that are much taller than mine.

I craned my head around to look through my rear windshield and I figured out that I was sitting in front of one of those Hummer vehicles. I’m not familiar enough with Hummers to know whether it was a Hummer H1, H2 or H3…or another model I’ve never even heard of…but I knew it was a Hummer. At this point, you’ve probably figured out why I was laughing hysterically. You’ve probably started laughing yourself.

What possesses the average adult to purchase a Hummer and to use it for everyday errands such as grocery shopping? Perhaps their daily commute looks similar to this:

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Perhaps their driveway contains buried landmines and they want to drive a vehicle that provides them with more blast protection than your average SUV. Perhaps they’re a trained assassin and they have to be prepared to tackle any terrain in the pursuit of their target. I guess there are reasons for wanting a Hummer to be your primary vehicle.

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However, I’m going to go out on a limb and make the bold assumption that most adult civilians don’t encounter these situations on a routine basis. Therefore, people are buying a Hummer because they’re adhering to the adage that “bigger is better.”

While the phrase is fun to say and may be true in some cases, it’s certainly not true when it comes to laboratory instrumentation. In fact, the complete opposite is true, and that’s why I love using an iCAP. The Thermo Scientific™ iCAP™ RQ ICP-MS and Thermo Scientific™ iCAP™ 7000 Plus ICP-OES have footprints that are smaller than almost any other ICP instruments on the market. Reducing the size of the instrument frees up valuable bench space and typically reduces its gas consumption, saving money on expensive, high-purity gases.

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Don’t let their compact size fool you, though. They are elemental analysis powerhouses. Elemental impurities can be quantified in everything from kerosene to brines to dissolved rocks and semiconductor grade acids. Interferences? Please. Between innovative hardware and unique software features, interferences are a minor hassle, at most. Check out my blog post titled “Kick Interference to the Curb” if you don’t believe me.

There’s a lot to like about the iCAP instruments…including their compact size.