Determination of pesticide residues by neutron-activation analysis
Although activation analysis was first employed during the 1930’s, it remained as a seldom-used technique until the advent of the nuclear reactor — with its attendant high neutron fluxes. It became considerably better known during the 1950’s, when the activation analysis service of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory made the technique available, at least indirectly, to any interested persons. More recently, the development of lower-cost, high-performance research reactors, low-cost neutron generators (deuteron accelerators), and versatile multichannel pulse-height analyzers has brought the technique directly into many laboratories. Neutron-activation analysis has now been applied in a great many different fields of science and industry, for example, the petroleum, chemical, and plastics industries, metallurgy, biology and medicine, criminalistics, and, most recently, pesticide residue studies.
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