Definition of activation analysis in US English:

activation analysis


  • A technique of analysis in which atoms of a particular element in a sample are made radioactive, typically by irradiation with neutrons, and their concentration is then determined radiologically.

    • ‘The major-oxide compositions were established by X-ray fluorescence, and trace and rare earth elements by instrumental neutron activation analysis, and ICP analysis.’
    • ‘Neutron activation analysis is a method of producing radioisotopes in very small samples of a material.’
    • ‘It is usually the case in neutron activation analysis that both unknown samples and standard materials containing known elemental concentrations are irradiated with thermal neutrons in a nuclear reactor.’
    • ‘Sherds from several of the broken vessels were subjected to petrographic analysis, and instrumental neutron activation analysis was completed of 10 sherds from different vessels.’
    • ‘Because neutron activation analysis is nondestructive, and the samples are no longer radioactive after about a month, this reanalysis for other elements is possible.’


activation analysis

/ˌaktəˈvāSH(ə)n əˌnaləsəs/