Trendwatcher or trendsetter; 50 years of MTAA

Bruin, Marcel; Bode, Peter
February 2012
Journal of Radioanalytical & Nuclear Chemistry;Feb2012, Vol. 291 Issue 2, p307
Academic Journal
The development on neutron activation analysis (NAA) into a technique of practical interest effectively started about 60 years ago, when nuclear reactors became available and widely accessible as intense sources of neutrons. During 50 out these 60 years, the series of Modern Trends in Activation Analysis (MTAA) Conferences acted as a true companion and facilitator of this growth. As trendwatcher they signalized the many initiatives that contributed to the development of activation analysis and its applications. A period has come to an end of impressive development resulting from sometimes revolutionary changes in radiation detection and data processing, and much improved irradiation facilities, NAA has reached a full stage of development, with emphasis on routine application and with remaining developments of in marginal impact. NAA is being challenged increasingly in the last 30 years by alternative techniques for multi trace element analysis. The MTAA Conference and with it the ICAA, the International Committee on Activation Analysis, can play an important and active role in this process of identifying and selecting key areas, and even promoting concerted action in those areas. Such an evolution of focus from retrospective to prospective, from trendwatcher to trendsetter, may well allow the MTAA Conference to continue and even expand its role in future development of NAA and its applications. The ideas about the future of the MTAA Conferences and its organization are elaborated upon and some possible subjects for focused development activities are indicated.


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