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A low-cost instrument has been developed for quantitative determinations of beryllium in the field by activation analysis. The instrument makes use of the gamma-neutron reaction between gammas emitted by an artificially radioactive source (Sb124) and beryllium as it occurs in nature. The instrument and power source are mounted in a panel-type vehicle. Samples are prepared by hand-crushing the rock to approximately ?-inch mesh size and smaller. Sample volumes are kept constant by means of a standard measuring cup. Instrument calibration, made by using standards of known BeO content, indicates the analyses are reproducible and accurate to within ? 0.25 percent BeO in the range from 1 to 20 percent BeO with a sample counting time of 5 minutes. Sensitivity of the instrument maybe increased somewhat by increasing the source size, the sample size, or by enlarging the cross-sectional area of the neutron-sensitive phosphor normal to the neutron flux.
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A field instrument for quantitative determination of beryllium by activation analysis