Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nuclear materials detector shows exact location of radiation sources

Date:
November 5, 2010
Source:
University of Michigan
Summary:
A table-top gamma-ray detector can not only identify the presence of dangerous nuclear materials, but can pinpoint and show their exact location and type, unlike conventional detectors.

A table-top gamma-ray detector created at the University of Michigan can not only identify the presence of dangerous nuclear materials, but can pinpoint and show their exact location and type, unlike conventional detectors.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Michigan

A table-top gamma-ray detector created at the University of Michigan can not only identify the presence of dangerous nuclear materials, but can pinpoint and show their exact location and type, unlike conventional detectors.

"Other gamma ray detectors can tell you perhaps that nuclear materials are near a building, but with our detector, you can know the materials are in room A, or room B, for example," said Zhong He, an associate professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences.

"This is the first instrument for this purpose that can give you a real-time image of the radiation source. Not only can we tell you what material is there, but we can tell you where it is, and you can find it and walk towards it."

He presented this device, called Polaris, the week of Nov. 1 at the International Workshop on Room-Temperature Semiconductor Detectors, held in conjunction with 2010 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference in Knoxville, Tenn.

Gamma rays are high-energy photons, or particles of light. They are emitted by dirty bombs and special nuclear materials that could be used for nuclear weapons.

Polaris is composed of 18 cubes of the semiconductor cadmium zinc telluride. Each cube measures and records the energy and three-dimensional position of every gamma ray photon interaction that takes place within the detector. It also determines the direction each photon came from.

A computer connected to the detector uses the energy information to identify the type of material emitting it. Different materials appear in the detector's image as different colors. The device uses the photon direction and position information to show the location of the source.

He underscored why having an image to guide an inspector to a radiation source is especially helpful.

"If you don't have an image, it's like collecting the spectrum of the light in this room," he said. "You wouldn't know what's happening in the room. With an image, obviously, you can see what's happening, and who is here and where they are standing."

Polaris will also be more convenient and portable to use in the field, compared with its current counterparts, He said. It operates at room temperature, whereas the high-purity germanium gamma ray detectors typically used today must be cooled to -200 degrees Celsius or they won't work.

This research was funded by the Department of Defense's Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Department of Energy, and the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office of the Department of Homeland Security.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan. "Nuclear materials detector shows exact location of radiation sources." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101104094032.htm>.
University of Michigan. (2010, November 5). Nuclear materials detector shows exact location of radiation sources. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101104094032.htm
University of Michigan. "Nuclear materials detector shows exact location of radiation sources." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101104094032.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

TheStreet (Apr. 16, 2014) The Porsche Spyder 918 proves that, in an automotive world obsessed with fuel efficiency, the supercar is not dead. Porsche North America CEO Detlev von Platen attributes the brand's consistent sales growth -- 21% in 2013 -- with an investment in new technology and expanded performance dynamics. The hybrid Spyder 918 has 887 horsepower and 944 lb-ft of torque, but it can run 18 miles on just an electric charge. The $845,000 vehicle is not a consumer-targeted vehicle but a brand statement. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins