ADVANCED RESEARCH LABORATORY IN MEDICAL PHYSICS - A PHYSICS AND ENGINEERING INTEGRATED APPROACH
Objective: The goal of the new Advanced research laboratory if to give students an opportunity to conduct summer research on their campus during the junior year and continue research projects in their senior year leading to a thesis in engineering physics and one or more publications during their undergraduate studies. The proposed advanced research laboratory mixes projects in medical physics and medical Engineering. The laboratory work has well-defined goals and outcomes and a comprehensive method of evaluating the skills acquired by the students. The work completed by the students will allow them to understand a very exciting are of applied physics, medical Physics, and its applications in physics and engineering.
Methods and Materials:
Part I; Medical Physics and Engineering - the following areas will be investigated:
1. X-ray interactions with materials - determination of absorption coefficients, measurements of radiation dose, acquisition of X-ray crystallography spectra. Measurements with the Geiger-Muller meter, ionization chamber and NaI(TL) scintillation detector.
Skills to be acquired: ability to measure very small currents using a picoammeter in various modes, ability to acquire an X-ray crystallography spectrum and calculate the interatomic spacing, ability to calculate radiation dose in air and water.
2. Nuclear Magnetic resonance: establish on-resonance conditions, acquire an FID, process the Fourier Transform of the Signal, measure T1 and T1, investigate the effect of the flip angle on the T1 and T2 measurements. Investigate the construction of an NMR coil
Skills to be acquired: obtain NMR resonance conditions, understand the characteristics of an NMR spectrum, understand and measure T1 and T2 using at least 2 different methods. Understand the NMR coil quality factor.
3. Superconductivity at high temperature: Investigate the dependence of resistance on temperature for a variety of high-temperature superconductive samples. Investigate the value of the critical magnetic field. Conduct measurements of magnetic field flux using SQUIDS.
Skills: Understand the principles of superconductivity and the significance of the critical temperature and magnetic field. builds a picoamp source of current. Understand how SQUIDS operate and conduct temperature/resistance measurements with SQUIDS.
4. Radiation detection using a NaI(Tl) scintillation detector. Measurements: gamma and x-ray spectroscopy, single photon counting, half life and decay studies.
The work is completed by choosing an independent research project to be completed in their senior year as a graduating thesis. The project must be presented at a research symposium or conference. A publication is strongly encouraged.