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Today PET scanners.

CT and PET scanners have revolutionized nuclear medicine. Intense X-rays are now one of the primary modes of treating cancer. Accelerators throughout the world generate beams of electrons that are directed to targets that create X-rays, which are then directed at the tumors to destroy them. The modern therapy machine has become extremely sophisticated in that the electron beam can be modulated to increase and decrease the flux to alter the dose of X-rays and thereby spare healthy tissue while maximizing the dose to the tumor. While the standard of care for cancer treatment includes X-ray therapy, there is a growing use of high-energy protons to ablate the tumors.

The idea is to deposit as much energy as possible in the tumor cells while sparing the surrounding tissues.


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In the United States, partnerships between industry and nuclear science laboratories have led to new accelerator developments for medical applications. This work has resulted in the miniaturization of the cyclotron so that it will fit on a gantry and rotate around the subject, simplifying beam delivery and allowing for tighter control of radiation dose delivery.

NSCL has also designed and constructed a gantry-mounted, superconducting K medical cyclotron, funded by Harper Hospital in Detroit, for neutron therapy. The success of proton therapy has stimulated interest in using heavier hadrons, such as carbon ions, with the potential of depositing more energy to a small area. Several synchrotrons delivering carbon for therapy have been installed in Europe and Japan.

There is a vast enterprise of techniques that use accelerators in a wide range of industries to polymerize plastics, to sterilize food and medical equipment, to weld materials using an electron beam, to implant ions into materials, to etch circuits on electronic devices, to examine the boreholes of oil wells, and to search for dangerous goods.

There are approximately 8, such devices worldwide. Electron beams dominate the industrial uses, with the curing of wire-cable tubing and of ink accounting for more than 60 percent of the market.

Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) (CH-06)

Other electron beam uses include shrinking films, cross bonding of fibers in tires, and irradiation. Here, electron beams replace traditional thermal heating approaches because of the gain in efficiency that comes from the more uniform distribution of energy. A number of major accelerator developments related to nuclear energy are being pursued, including plasma heating for fusion reactors, inertial fusion reactors, nuclear waste transmutation, electronuclear breeding, and accelerator-driven subcritical reactors. The breadth of scientific disciplines that make use of accelerators to perform their studies is considerable.

Cutting-edge materials research makes use of synchrotron radiation having a wide range of wavelengths. Muon beams and neutrons produced from spallation sources probe the properties of materials such as the high-temperature superconductors. Mass spectroscopy is a standard analytical technique for chemists. As discussed at the end of this chapter, high-resolution mass spectrometry is used in archaeology and geology for dating artifacts by determining the ratio of stable to long-lived isotopes.

A free-electron laser FEL is a powerful source of coherent electromagnetic radiation that is produced by a relativistic electron beam propagating through a periodic magnetic field see Figure 3. FELs are capable of producing intense radiation over a wide range of the electromagnetic wave spectrum, from microwave to hard X-ray, with average beam powers up to tens of kilowatts and peak powers up to tens of gigawatts. FELs are used for research in many fields, including materials science, surface and solid-state physics, chemical, biological and medical sciences, and nuclear physics.

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Applications of nuclear analytical techniques in environmental research. Plenary lecture.

While the principle of operation of all FELs is the same, each device is optimized for its main application. FELs that are used in applications that require high average power are typically operated in the infrared IR region and are driven by a high-repetition-rate linear accelerator with an optical resonator. Nuclear physics accelerator facilities are leading new developments in FEL technologies. New investigations in condensed matter studies at accelerator labs in the United States and Germany have already identified previously unknown interstellar molecular emission lines, developed new processes for production of boron nitride nanotubes, and produced nonthermal pulsed laser deposition of complex organics on arbitrary substrates.

Superconducting radiofrequency technology developed at the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility CEBAF nuclear physics accelerator is now being commercialized for future implementation in weapons. They are used in numerous basic and applied science applications, including probing materials, biological systems, and nuclei. Shown is a schematic diagram of the basic layout of an FEL. The electron beam is transported through the periodically varying magnet field of an undulator magnet.

An FEL can be operated with either an optical resonator or in a single-pass configuration with a long undulator section.

Ion beam analysis

Copyright: DESY And FEL technologies and applications are strongly coupled to nuclear physics research, including the technologies needed for a future electron-ion collider. Information and Computer Technologies. Both nuclear physics experiments and theory have been enabled by and, in turn, have spawned, advances in computer science and technology. For experimentalists, the enormous quantity of data that characterize modern nuclear physics experiments has required that systems be devised to handle and make such data meaningful.

RHIC experiments now routinely collect petabyte scale data sets each year, at rates of 1 GB per second.

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Analysis of such data sets drives technology development for the sustained use of data grids. For example, the computing groups. This allows next-day access to fresh data from the experiments for analysis. Analogous progress has come out of the need for massive and reliable computational approaches to address some of the fundamental problems in nuclear theory. Lattice quantum chromodynamics QCD calculations of the structure and properties of protons and hot quark-gluon plasmas that begin with fundamental quark and gluon building blocks are among the most demanding numerical computations in nuclear physics.

Advancing this basic science drives innovation in computer architectures. In a lattice QCD calculation, space and time are rendered as a grid of points, and the quarks and gluons at one point interact only directly with those at other nearby points. This localization of the particles and their interactions makes these numerical computations particularly well suited for massively parallel supercomputers, with communications between processors having a simple pattern that enables the efficient use of a very large number of processors.

This characteristic of lattice QCD calculations drove some physicists to design special-purpose supercomputers that attracted attention in the broader computer hardware arena by achieving lower price-to-performance ratios than contemporary commercial supercomputers. A particularly successful group designing special-purpose lattice QCD supercomputers was based at Columbia University, working in partnership with IBM, which manufactured the computer chips.

Originally, the group built a machine based on a low-power, simple, digital signal-processing chip similar to those in cell phones and a special-purpose serial communication network.

Possible Applications for NAA

Recently, the LHC, which enables particle and heavy-ion nuclear physics research at the energy frontier, has reached unprecedented volumes of data and requirements for data transfer rates and data processing power. This has led to the development of technology that allows extraordinary data transfer rates at large distances. Such technology eventually will influence the Internet infrastructure used in our everyday life.

Lattice QCD machines, QCDOC in particular, became the paradigm for a new generation of world-leading massively parallel supercomputers that are currently. Department of Energy, in partnership with IBM. Examples of calculations now possible with the most powerful computers are given in the lower figures. Displayed are lattice QCD calculations of the transverse charge distributions of a proton lower left and a neutron lower right , polarized in the x-direction, as a function of the radial distance from the center of the nucleon computed.

These transverse charge densities are shown in a reference frame in which the observer is riding along with the photon the Breit frame. In both cases, the charge distribution has an electric dipole component in the y-direction. This effect is entirely due to the interplay of special relativity and the internal structure of the nucleon.

Cohen, University of Washington. In particular, IBM built the successful commercial Blue Gene line of computers, which engaged several former Columbia students and postdoctoral scholars.

Applications of nuclear analytical techniques in environmental research. Plenary lecture.

In addition to lattice QCD calculations, these supercomputers have been just as successful in simulating exploding stars or nuclear reactors, both of which require enormous computing power. Genomic sequencing, protein folding, materials science, and brain simulations are also prominent on the list of successful Blue Gene applications. Cosmic rays are continuously bombarding Earth: more during active solar periods, more at the poles, and less at the equator.

When cosmic rays, or radiation from their secondary products, interact with an electronic device, the function of that device can be compromised. The resulting errors in the functionality of an electronic device, such as the one displayed in Figure 3. A single event upset SEU refers to a change in the state of the logic or support circuitry of an electronic device caused by radiation striking a sensitive location or node in the device.

SEUs can range from temporary nondestructive soft errors to hard error damage in devices. The detailed physics determining the rate at which SEUs occur is both complicated and device dependent.

1. Introduction

Circuit manufacturers try to design around the risks posed by cosmic ray interactions by introducing redundancy or other protective measures to compensate for the radiation-induced errors. To do so requires detailed knowledge of the expected rates and types of SEUs that can occur. Thus, experimental testing of semiconductor device response to radiation requires beams of particles that provide realistic analogs of cosmic rays and their secondary products.

The main particles responsible for SEUs are neutrons, protons, and alpha particles, as well as heavy ions. Thus, the beams needed for this large experimental program require a range of nuclear accelerator facilities to test for device vulnerabilities and to characterize the radiation-induced failure modes of the electronic chips. For this, nuclear physics accelerator facilities are a unique resource, and agencies and companies from all over the world purchase beam time at accelerator facilities to test for device vulnerabilities and to characterize the radiation-induced failure modes of the electronic chips.

In the United States. Applications of nuclear techniques are used to advance other scientific disciplines, including climate science, cosmochemistry, geochronology, paleoclimate, paleo-oceanography, and geomorphology. Since , when Willard Libby first demonstrated carbon dating, the field of trace analyses of long-lived cosmogenic isotopes has steadily grown. Because they are chemically inert, noble gases play a particularly important role as tracers in environmental studies.


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Owing to their inertness, the geochemical and geophysical behavior of these gases and their distribution on Earth is simpler to understand than that of reactive elements. In addition,. Precision tools and techniques developed for basic nuclear physics continue to be applied to answer open questions in climatology, geology, and oceanography.