By neutron irradiation of objects it is possible to induce radioactivity; this activation of stable isotopes to create radioisotopes is the basis of neutron activation analysis. One of the most interesting objects which has been studied in this way is the hair of Napoleon's head, which have been examined for their arsenic content.
A series of different experimental methods exist, these have been designed to enable the measurement of a range of different elements in different matrices. To reduce the effect of the matrix it is common to use the chemical extraction of the wanted element and/or to allow the radioactivity due to the matrix elements to decay before the measurement of the radioactivity. Since the matrix effect can be corrected for by observing the decay spectrum, little or no sample preparation is required for some samples, making neutron activation analysis less susceptible to contamination.
The effects of a series of different cooling times can be seen if a hypothetical sample which contains sodium, uranium and cobalt in a 100:10:1 ratio was subjected to a very short pulse of thermal neutrons. The initial radioactivity would be dominated by the 24Na activity (half-life 15 h) but with increasing time the 239Np (half-life 2.4 d after formation from parent 239U with half-life 24 min) and finally the 60Co activity (5.3 yr) would predominate.
Read more about this topic: Radiochemistry
Other articles related to "analysis, activation, activation analysis":
... of Some Analytical Problems Pertaining to Rare Earths by Means of Radioactivation Analysis, Trans ... By Neutron Activation, Atomkernenergie Volume 4, 286-289 (1959) ... Born On the Activation Analysis of Oxygen with Help of the Reaction O16 (T,n) F18, Intern ...
... Transport Cross section · Absorption · Activation Neutron scattering Neutron diffraction Small-angle neutron scattering GISANS Reflectometry Inelastic neutron scattering Triple-axis spectrometer Time-of-fl ... For example, neutron capture often results in neutron activation, inducing radioactivity ... is used in a similar way one uses X-rays for the analysis of condensed matter ...
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