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Fall 2009

Schedule Fall 2009

October 6, 2009
3:00 pm (Tuesday)

Dr. William Graves
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A Proposed NSF Science and Technology Center to build a compact ultra-bright x-ray (CUBIX) sourcen Laboratory

Large synchrotrons, and now free electron lasers, are the most powerful sources of x-ray beams. Through increasingly advanced imaging, diffraction, and spectroscopic techniques, physicists, chemists, biologists, and medical doctors, as well as quality-control inspectors, airline passenger screeners, and forensic scientists have resolved the structural detail and elemental constituency on length scales from inter-atomic spacing to the size of the human body. However these x-ray sources have grown enormous in size and cost, reaching $1 billion. We are pursuing an alternative approach, in which the traditional magnets used to produce x-rays are replaced with high power laser beams, reducing the size and cost of the accelerator by a factor of 100. By combining the high power lasers with a small superconducting linac, x-ray beams with performance rivaling, and in some parameters surpassing, the large facilities are possible. This presentation describes the physics and technology of the innovative new lasers and accelerators under development, and the science that they enable.

October 27, 2009
3:00 pm (Tuesday)

Dr. Chuck J. Horowitz
Indiana University
Neutron Stars at JLAB and The Lead Radius Experiment

The Lead Radius Experiment (PREx) uses parity violating electron scattering to accurately measure the neutron radius of 208Pb. This fundamental measurement has broad implications for nuclear structure, atomic parity nonconservation, low energy tests of the standard model, and for astrophysics. We describe the experiment, that is to be run at Jefferson Laboratory in the Spring of 2010, and provide an introduction to neutron stars. Then we discuss the experiments many implications.
The distribution of neutrons in a heavy nucleus depends on the strong interactions between neutrons. These are the same interactions that determine the properties of neutron rich matter, important in astrophysics. We end by describing how PREx will help determine the size, extent of the solid crust, cooling rate, and composition of neutron stars.

November 10, 2009
3:00 pm (Tuesday)

Dr. Alexei Klimenko
Passport Systems, Inc.
Nuclear Science for Homeland Security

Passport Systems Inc. have recently completed construction of the Proof-of-Concept Scanner that utilizes Nuclear Resonance Fluorescence (NRF) and EZ-3D technologies and was designed as a prototype of a high-throughput system to screen the flow of cargo entering the US. The fusion of NRF and EZ-3D technologies achieves low levels of false alarms at high probability of detection. EZ-3D creates a 3D map of the effective Z distribution within inspected cargo and identifies anomalous regions that consequently are interrogated automatically using NRF signatures.

In this presentation, an overview of technologies will be given and associated algorithms and hardware developed and integrated by Passport Systems Inc. will be presented.

November 17, 2009
3:00 pm (Tuesday)

Dr. Howard Scott
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
NLTE Physics in the Quest for Fusion

The completion of the National Ignition Facility (NIF) marks a new era in the effort to generate energy through controlled nuclear fusion. NIF utilizes the indirect drive approach to inertial confinement fusion (ICF), producing radiation within a hohlraum to compress capsules to densities and temperatures sufficient for sustained thermonuclear reactions. Current experiments on NIF are aimed at achieving ignition within the next few years. These experiments also depend upon (and validate) our understanding of and capability to simulate multiple interacting physical processes. These processes include hydrodynamics, radiation transport, plasma physics and atomic physics, as well as the desired nuclear reactions. Non-Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium (NLTE) refers to an approach to treating the interaction of atoms, electrons and radiation within a plasma which relaxes the usual assumption that the matter is in thermal equilibrium. Changes in the treatment of this physics can dramatically affect the energy balance within the hohlraum and the capsule performance, emphasizing the need for an accurate treatment of this computationally intensive topic.

December 1, 2009
3:00 pm (Tuesday)

Dr. Dinko Pocanic
University of Virginia

December 8, 2009
3:00 pm (Tuesday)

Old Dominion University
Senior Thesis Presentations

Jason Reed
"Energy Spectra Analysis for the LiHe Diatomic Molecule"

James Graves
"Development of a Ring-back Tensionometer for Drift Chamber Wire Tension Testing