Author: N. Spyrou 1
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  • 1 University of Surrey Guildford Department of Physics Gu2 5XH Surrey (England)
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Nuclear and atomic methods of analysis, which rely on the detection of prompt and delayed radiations, emitted as a result of interactions between radiation probe and target, for determining the elemental concentration in vivo and in vitro, are summarily reviewed, with reference to bone analysis; the demand for methods which provide information about elemental distribution is highlighted. The way neutrons can be used as probes to investigate the composition and structure of objects by employed the principles of computerised tomography are outlined and the novel modes of utilisation are briefly described: neutron transmission tomography, neutron induced prompt gammaray emission tomography and neutron induced delayed gamma-ray emission tomography. The latter method, alternatively termed neutron activation tomography, is then used to determine on-destructively the distribution of Na in selected planes of a human tibia, in vitro, by measuring the activity of24Na using a NaI(Tl) and a Ge(Li) detector in a tomographic scanner which incorporates a microcomputer for control, data acquisition and image reconstruction. The problems of attenuation and scattering are discussed as are the limitations for quantitative results of this useful new mode of tomography which provided information about composition and elemental distribution in a material.