Design of a Hybrid Antineutrino Detector Using Scintillation and Wavelength-Shifting Materials

Sponsor
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Year
2011 – 2012
Advisors
  • James C Eckert
  • Richard C Haskell
  • Adrian Hightower
Team
Christopher (Chris) D. Cotner (’13)
Rebecca Nicole Streitz (’13)
Carlo Vaccari (’13)
Brianna R. Blanchard (’12)
Karen Naja Heinselman (’12)
Wylie N. Rosenthal (’12)
Ethan Michael Susca (’12)

Sensitive monitoring of antineutrino flux from nuclear power plants documents the consumption of fissile materials, thereby enhancing nuclear safeguards and non-proliferation.  In the team’s newly designed hybrid scintillation detector, energy depositions from prompt gamma rays and delayed neutron capture events provide an unambiguous signal for antineutrino detection.  Dual scintillation materials are used with wavelength-shifting plastics to direct light to photomultiplier tubes most efficiently.  Material characterization tests and Monte Carlo simulations were used to optimize the design of the detector.

The Physics Clinic program presents opportunities for students to work on practical projects relevant to industrial work. Students work on teams of 3–5 on a sponsored research or development project.