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Gamma server is up

Approved by the UNLV Marking and Office of Information Technology, a computer server coupled with the LYNX system is up and running with domain names as gamma.unlv.edu. The purpose of this domain is for remote gamma spectra collection and calibration. At this time, this domain can only be accessed on campus or any outside IP with a VPN account. Students can get “hands-on” experience with HPGe detectors and gamma spectroscopy without visiting the counting lab physically. Instead, they can click this link to see the gamma spectra remotely. This service is especially beneficial to students and instructors in nuclear sciences during the pandemic. Anyone interested in remote gamma spectra collection and calibration may contact Dr. Sun to establish a local account on the server.

Presentation: Zaijing Sun

Dr. Sun was invited by the Center for Neutron Research at the National Institute of Standard and Technology and presented his research “A Preliminary Study of the Organic and Nonorganic Food Ingredients with Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis” at the NCNR Seminar series.

In the talk, he claimed that there is not much difference in the trace elements content between organic food and its conventional counterpart. The experiments and data show that INAA, as a nuclear technique, lacks the capability to probe the properties of compounds on the molecular level, which may be the real difference between organic and non-organic food.

Neutron/Photon Servers are up at HERD

Approved by the UNLV Marking and Office of Information Technology, two computer servers at HERD—Neutron and Photon—are up and running with domain names as neutron.unlv.edu and photon.unlv.edu. Both servers are running Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS with Geant4, MCNPX, MariaDB, Matlab, and PHP. The purpose of these Linux servers is for Monte Carlo Simulations of Nuclear Processes and Radiation Spectra Collection and Analysis. At this time, both servers can only be accessed by SSH on campus. Anyone interested in MC simulations and Spectra Analysis can contact Dr. Sun to establish a local account on the servers.

Dr. Krishnakumar Divakar Nangeelil Joined the HERD group

Dr. Krishnakumar from the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research joined the group as a postdoc scholar. He received his Ph.D. in Physics in the area of radiation dosimetry from Bharathiar University, India. He has two decades of progressive professional work experience in health physics services, radiation detectors, gamma spectrometry, and radiation dosimetry. His involvement will strengthen our experimental activities in radiation detection and radiation dosimetry.

Published: “A Study of the Organic and Nonorganic Food Ingredients with Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis”

Dr. Sun and his colleagues in Carolina published an article “A Study of the Organic and Nonorganic Food Ingredients with Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis” in Radiation Science and Technology. The article indicates that INAA is a sensitive radioanalytical tool to tell the elemental information on atomic or nuclear levels, however, as a nuclear technique, INAA lacks the capability to probe the properties of compounds on the molecular level, which may be the real difference between organic and nonorganic food.

Christina Hall gave a presentation at the Annual Conference of Health Physics Society

Christina Hall successfully gave a presentation entitled “Using Spanish Moss as a Bio-indicator for Air Pollution in the Low Country of Savannah River Basin “at the 66th Annual Conference of Health Physics Society in Phoenix. The study indicated the correlations between the concentration of heavy metals in Spanish Moss and the level of air pollution in the Savannah River Basin.

Dr. Sun received an internal faculty opportunity award

Dr. Sun received the Faculty Opportunity Award from the UNLV Office of Research. The project is titled “Developing Quasi-absolute Method in Photon Activation Analysis.” His mentor is Dr. Steen Madsen from the Department of Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences.

The UNLV Faculty Opportunity Awards Program provides internal support for the development of research with the potential for continued funding by extramural funding agencies, private foundations, or industry.

Funding is generously provided by the UNLV Research Foundation and the UNLV Foundation.

See details about this in the news at the UNLV website.

Dr. Sun received CRRSAA funding for developing a remote spectra collection system

Dr. Sun received one-time funding from the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) to develop remote spectra collection system for nuclear sciences.

During the pandemic, the students and professors are suffered from the interruption of experimental activities, especially on experiments of radiation detection and measurements. Due to the social distance policy and laboratories’ limited capacity, the related experiments for teaching and research are mostly paused. In this project, Dr. Sun proposed to develop a remote spectra collection system at the radiation laboratories, which allows the students to obtain radiation spectra through the internet and remotely control the sample exchangers. The implementation of the project will benefit the teaching and research activities and reduce the personal in laboratories. It will support student’s success in completing the degrees on time in health physics, radiochemistry, and nuclear engineering at UNLV.

The HERD Group was initiated.

Recently, Dr. Zaijing Sun joined UNLV as an associate professor in the Department of Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences. He established the group of Heath, Environment, and Radiation Detection (HERD). The HERD group is dedicated to the research in nuclear activation analysis (NAA and PAA), medical isotope production, MC simulation of clinic LINACs, temporal data mining in nuclear decommissioning, and 3-D imaging in diagnostic sciences. 

Before joining UNLV, Dr. Sun was an assistant professor in the Nuclear Engineering Program at South Carolina State University. He had been a postdoc in the Nuclear Engineering Division at the Argonne National laboratory. His research interests include gamma-ray spectroscopy, Monte Carlo simulations, radiation physics, radioanalytical chemistry, temporal data mining (TDM) in nuclear decommissioning, and medical isotope production.