An apparatus and method for identifying a chemical compound. A neutron source delivers neutrons into the chemical compound. The nuclei of chemical elements constituting the chemical compound emit gamma rays upon interaction with the neutrons. The gamma rays are characteristic of the chemical elements constituting the chemical compound. A spectrum of the gamma rays is generated having a detection count and an energy scale. The energy scale is calibrated by comparing peaks in the spectrum to energies of pre-selected chemical elements in the spectrum. A least-squares fit completes the calibration. The chemical elements constituting the chemical compound can be readily determined, which then allows for identification of the chemical compound.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
This invention was made with United States Government support under Contract No. DE-AC07-94ID13223, now Contract No. DE-AC07-99ID13727, awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in the invention.