The possibility of using 14 MeV neutron activation for rapid, nondestructive elemental analysis of high Tc superconductors is considered. A method was elaborated and applied for investigating Y–Ba–Cu–O samples with different oxygen content. Derived from the measurements of a typical sample the uncertainty of the elemental concentrations, including oxygen, is not more than 1. 1%.
The validity of the Poisson and theP(k) modified Poisson statistical density functions of observing k events in a short time interval t=T/n, proposed previously by others, is investigated experimentally in radioactive decay detection for various measuring times, T. The experiments to measure radioactive decay were performed with 89my (T1/2=16.06 s), using a multichannel analyzer operating in the multiscaling mode. According to the results, Poisson statistics adequately describes the counting experiment for short measuring times (up to T<0.5 T1/2) and its application is recommended. However, analysis of the data demonstrated, with confidence, that for long measurements (T>1 T1/2) Poisson distribution is not valid and the modified Poisson function is preferable.
Fast neutron activation analysis experiments were performed to investigate the analytical possibilities and prospective utilization of short-lived activation products. A rapid pneumatic transfer system for use with neutron generators has been installed and applied for detecting radionuclides with a half-life from 300 ms to 20 s. The transport time for samples of total mass of 1–4 g is between 130 and 160 ms for pressurized air of 0.1–0.4 MPa. The reproducibility of transport times is less than 2%. The employed method of correcting time-dependent counting losses is based on the virtual pulse generator principle. The measuring equipment consists of CAMAC modules and a special gating circuit. Typical time distributions of counting losses are presented. The same 14 elements were studied by the conventional activation method (single irradiation and single counting) by both a typical pneumatic transport system (run time 3 s) and the fast pneumatic transport facility. Furthermore, the influence of the cyclic activation technique on the elemental sensitivities was investigated.
A CAMAC system was installed for pulse height analysis and correction of counting losses due to the dead-time of a multichannel analyzer and the pulse pile-up. A computer program was developed to control the whole system, and to collect and store data in both conventional and cyclic measurement modes.