Characterization of chemicals and materials, data evaluation from many modern physical and chemical experiments, and analysis of reactor and accelerator operations depend on identification and quantitation of samples. The operation of the Atomic Energy Commission (and its successor agencies, for that matter) depended on development and conduct of analytical methods, especially those related to nuclear and radioactive materials. In addition, the instruments used by postwar analytical chemists represented a considerable expenditure of funds, investments perhaps too large for typical university laboratories. Siting analytical chemistry programs within National Laboratories filled not only a scientific requirement, but represented a method by which the Federal Government could establish user-oriented programs.
The Atomic Energy Commission provided support to the National Laboratories both to develop new methods for analysis and to operate facilities to perform chemical analysis.
Last Modified: June 28, 2012