[Neutron] Thank you for your advices

Stephan Rella stephanrella at gmail.com
Mon Dec 4 16:07:15 CST 2006

Dear members,

I have received numerous very helpful replies to my questions -
certainly, with perhaps even more questions arising from the answers.
In this regard, thank you also for the useful reading materials you
proposed to me.

Some said, that - as for the the hydrogen measurement - it would be
necessary to measure the wet sample, dry it and then measure the dry
sample. Actually, I would like to avoid any pretreatment of the
samples and use a fast and non-destructive method. As far as I see,
when analysing the major chemical elements of sediments by a Xray
scanning technique, the water content influences the results. Thus, I
thought, when finding a non-destructive way of tracing the water
content through the samples in high resolution, this problem could be
solved. Actually, I am using a technique now based on grayscale in
Xray radiography, but I wondered if there might be other solutions.

Perhaps the interpretation of peaks could be calibrated to a typical
sample with typical constituents (if I understood one of the
suggestions well). In my case the major consituents vary rather
significantly. Si can vary several tenths of percents relative to the
total abundance of elements. Ca also can vary 15 percent or so. I
wonder if such differences would affect the neutron-based hydrogen
measurement enough to better not use such a method.
I have samples in 20cm length, 7mm depth and 3cm wide. Could those
just be "held" under a neutron beam? Or must the samples look

As for the NAA or Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation for isotope
measurements, I "dreamed" of a possibility to find the isotopes of
oxygen and carbon (important in paleoclimatology) in a fast
non-destructive way via neutrons. In order to have an advantage from
it, it would have to be easier than mass spectroscopy. Interesting
would be perhaps also knowing the bulk oxygen/carbon isotope
concentration in the sediment sample, rather than just the shells. But
I will still have to read some of your suggested bibiliography.

Thank you very much again for your communication.
Truly yours,

Stephan Rella
University of Tokyo

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