Societal Applications of Nuclear Science
Prof. Graham Peaslee
Department of Physics
University of Notre Dame
Our research utilizes the unique capabilities of nuclear science to study problems of societal interest. These applications generally fall into three broad categories: environmental contamination issues that are easy to detect using nuclear properties or detection methods, medical diagnostics or treatments using radioactive isotopes and public health threats that can be assessed using nuclear techniques, or nuclear energy or defense issues that can be addressed by these same techniques. As a result our research group is involved in a very diverse set of research projects that have some common themes, such as the unique speed and sensitivity with which we can measure things. A few of the most recent research projects will be summarized, including monitoring contaminants in consumer products, drinking water, fish and blood, as well as public health issues in housing, environmental contamination and occupational exposure. A recap of some of the long-lived isotope production efforts will also be presented together with projects for nuclear energy and defense. Common themes in the research will be emphasized including the speed with which accurate results can be obtained, or the ability of nuclear techniques to measure elements or isotopes where other methods cannot. A few ideas that we are working to commercialize in the future will be presented as well. The interplay between scientific research and communication with the public or policy makers in general will be discussed as well.
Hosted by Prof. Wiescher