Elemental and Content Analysis
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Elemental analysis is the ability to identify all elements, or some of the elements, present in a material. Content analysis, on the other hand, refers to determining the relative content of known materials in a mixture. For example, determining the elemental composition of soil means identifying the elements in the soil (oxygen, silicon, etc.) and their weight fractions. Also determining how much hydrogen in the soil (say due to water moisture) can be considered as elemental analysis concerned with the detection of one-element (hydrogen). On the other hand, determining the amount of water and soil in mud is considered to be content analysis, since it is known in advance that the mixture contains water and soil, but their relative content is not known. Note that radiation methods in general do not provide explicitly the chemical composition (formulae) of a material, since radiation interacts with either individual electrons or nuclei or their fields, as discussed in chapter 3. Therefore, the effect of chemical bonds on radiation interactions is not very prominent. Molecular information can, however, be extracted when radiation is sensitive to the thermal motion of individual molecules, or possess wave properties that are influenced by the molecular structure of a material, or when the radiation energy is quite low to be affected by electronic (chemical) bonding. Therefore, when the term “composition” is used in this chapter, it refers in general to the overall elemental or material composition of matter, rather than its explicit chemical form
KeywordsHydrogen Content Compton Scattering Neutron Generator Photoelectric Effect Fissile Material
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