Research Regarding Types Of Fingerprint Revealing Powder On Glass Surfaces

2740 words - 11 pages

Title; The effect of varying the type of fingerprint revealing powder (black carbon powder, white baby powder) on the percentage of accuracy (%) when revealing latent fingerprints on a glass surface.

Introduction and purpose;
Humans make finger contact with a variety of surfaces and objects on a constant basis. These can range from a variety of different surfaces; light and dark, porous or non-porous, rough or smooth. Such factors contribute to the visibility of the fingerprint. “Fingerprint is a form of biometric and forensic science that uses physical characteristics for identification.” “The technique of fingerprinting is known as dactyloscopy.”

Detectives, crime scene investigators and forensic scientists often reveal fingerprints using different methods to detect criminals, since a fingerprint is often regarded as a unique form of identity and hence no two persons share the same fingerprint including twins, just as with DNA. This process involves finding, collecting and recording the fingerprints present at the crime scene. After that, they compare the fingerprints collected from the crime scene to original fingerprints of the suspects to find an exact match and therefore, it is highly useful for the police department to have records of fingerprints.

During this experiment, the research question aims to aid the understanding of the properties of different fingerprint revealing powders hence affecting their ability to reveal fingerprints which, relating to the key concepts, is an essential system or process for forensic scientists, crime scene investigators and detectives to detect criminals which goes towards improving the world and decreasing crime rates. This investigation could potentially prove which fingerprint revealing powder is more accurate.

A fingerprint can be described as the unique patterns of swirling lines on a person’s finger, slightly ridged which can be classified into 3 main categories, including; loop, arch and whorl. (Fingerprint Analysis, Forensics Lab 8.0: Revealing Latent Fingerprints, How Fingerprints Solve Crimes, How to Use Baby Powder to Reveal Latent Fingerprints, Watson, Stephanie)

Diagram showing types of fingerprints

Fingerprint lines can stop and start, curve and slant and go in all different shapes, directions, widths, lengths, patterns and angles.


Thousands of years ago, the Babylonians and the Chinese used fingerprinting. Today the science of fingerprinting-dactloscopy is highly developed and being used for many purposes including identification (official documents and phones) as well as to solve crime. The first person to utilize fingerprinting to solve crime was by Sir William Herschel in the 19th century. From this historic discovery, multiple modern techniques of fingerprinting have been developed using substance-chemistry to determine revealing methods, biology because of its relation with DNA and physics to a certain extent when examining optical and electrical components of...

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