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Graduate Student Seminar - 12/02/2016

"Laser Induced Electron Avalanches for Remote Detection of Radioactive Material"

by Daniel Woodbury

Friday, December 2, 2016 -- 12:00 p.m.
Large Conference Room, 1207 Energy Research Facility

Advisor:  Professor Howard Milchberg

Focused, high power picosecond and nanosecond laser pulses can lead to a collisional electron cascade (avalanche) which substantially ionizes a material, even without direct field ionization or photo-ionization of the constituent atoms. Several recently proposed schemes for remote radioactive detection rely on such a laser-induced breakdown in air, seeded by free electrons generated through decay of radioactive materials. In this talk, I will review these detection concepts and the basic physics of avalanche breakdown, and present our current experimental measurements of the spatially and temporally resolved electron density during breakdown and our efforts to verify a measurable effect of radioactive material on this process.

For additional information about the IREAP Graduate Student Seminars, contact Peter Megson.

Return to the Graduate Student Seminar schedule.