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This Symposium on Application of Advanced and Nuclear Physics to Testing Materials, sponsored jointly by RILEM (Reunion Internationale des Laboratoires D'Essais et de Recherches sur les Materiaux et les Constructions—International Union of Testing and Research Laboratories for Materials and Structures) and by the American Society for Testing and Materials was part of the First International Conference on Materials held by ASTM in Philadelphia, Pa., Feb. 3–6, 1964. The papers in this symposium, although directed primarily at building materials, in actual fact present some insights into advanced physical processes and measurements as well as their applications to the investigation of materials. Included are extremely short electromagnetic waves and their absorption by moisture; spectrochemical analysis of materials by X-rays; an examination of neutron diffraction, its similarities to and differences from X-ray diffraction, the resulting relative limitations and advantages of the methods, and a discussion of the types of measurements possible with neutron diffraction as compared with X-rays; and irradiation by nuclear fission products including the use of radioactive isotopes. These physical and nuclear processes are used to determine moisture contents, thicknesses, densities, and other properties of materials in situ; to make a variety of difficult measurements such as the constituents of hardened portland cement; to study effects of irradiation on organic and inorganic materials; to follow manufacturing processes; and to make a considerable number of other determinations, some heretofore unavailable, slow, or uncertain.
Dietz, A. G. H.
Professor of building engineeringCo-chairman of Symposium Committee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.