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Published: Krishnakumar Nangeelil, Peter Dimpfl, Zaijing Sun

Krishnakumar Nangeelil, Peter Dimpfl, Zaijing Sun (all Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences), Shichun Huang (Currently faculty at UTK, a former member of the Department of Geosciences at UNLV), and Mayir Mamtimin (Halliburton) published an article entitled “Preliminary Study on Forgery Identification of Hetian Jade with Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis” in Applied Radiation and Isotopes. The study indicates that INAA can be applied qualitatively to identify similarities and differences in the elemental composition and quickly distinguish the counterfeit from the genuine Hetian jade. Peter Dimpfl is a recent master graduate in Medical Physics.

Presentation: Zaijing Sun, Krishnakumar Nangeelil

Zaijing Sun and Krishnakumar Nangeelil (both Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) recently gave oral presentations at the 26th International Conference on the Application of Accelerators in Research and Industry in Denton, Texas. Sun’s talk is titled, “Developing a Remote Gamma Spectra Collection System for Radiation Sciences at UNLV,” and Nangeelil’s talk is titled, “Determination of heavy elements in water and sediment along the Savannah river using Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis.”

Published: Krishnakumar Nangeelil, Christina Hall, Zaijing Sun

Krishnakumar NangeelilChristina Hall, and Zaijing Sun (all Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) and their collaborator, Wesley Frey at the McClellan Nuclear Research Center of the University of California Davis, published an article titled, “Biomarker response of Spanish moss to heavy metal air pollution in the low country of the Savannah River basin,” in the Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry.

The neutron activation of this study was done at the UC Davis reactor, the most powerful TRIGA reactor in universities. The results indicate that Spanish moss is an ideal biomarker for air quality monitoring, and there is a significant enhancement of heavy metal concentrations for Spanish moss living in high-traffic zones. Nangeelil is a postdoctoral scholar in the School of Integrated Health Sciences, and Hall is a graduate student majoring in environmental health physics.

Peter Dimpfl passed his thesis defense

Peter Dimpfl successfully defended his thesis entitled “Monte Carlo Simulation of Thallium-Bromide Semiconductor Detector for Range Verification of a Carbon Ion Radiotherapy Beam Through Prompt Gamma-Ray Detection” on June 17, 2022. In this study, Monte Carlo simulations were completed to evaluate TlBr performance in the detection of prompt gamma rays generated from the irradiation of a Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) phantom with carbon ions. TlBr was able to detect the prompt Gamma-Ray profiles of three different materials (cortical bone, adipose tissue, PMMA) with correlation to actual simulated Bragg peaks. The committee includes Dr. Yu Kuang (chair), Dr. Zaijing Sun, Dr. Steen Madsen, and Dr. Hui Zhao.

Published: Biswaljit Biswal and Zaijing Sun

Zaijing Sun (Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences of UNLV) and his collaborators,  Biswajit Biswal (Mathematics and Computer Sciences of SCSU), and Andrew Duncan (Material Sciences and Technology of SRNL) published an article “ADA: Advanced Data Analytics Methods for Abnormal Frequent Episodes in the Baseline Data of ISD” in the Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Technology. In this study, Advanced Data Analytics (ADA) methods are applied to the big data generated by the In-situ Decommissioning (ISD) Sensor Network Test Bed at the Savannah River Site. Advanced analytics engine, a framework of data analytics, feature engineering, and machine learning, is introduced to discover abnormal frequent episodes in the big datasets, which lead to the early indicators of ISD system failures.

Christina Hall gave a presentation at the CIRMS 2022 Meeting

Christina Hall successfully gave a presentation entitled “Assessing Air Pollution with Spanish Moss as a Bioindicator in the Low Country of Savannah River Basin “at the 29th Annual Meeting of CIRMS “Trusting Radiation Science: Measuring what cannot be seen”. Her study indicated the correlations between the concentration of heavy metals in Spanish Moss and the level of air pollution in the rural, low traffic, and high traffic area.

Presentation: Zaijing Sun, Krishnakumar Divakar Nangeelil, Peter Dimpfl, and Christina Hall

Krishnakumar Divakar Nangeelil, Peter Dimpfl, Christina Hall and Zaijing Sun (all Health Physics & Diagnostic Sciences), along with colleagues from other institutions, recently presented papers at the On Methods and Applications of Radioanalytical Chemistry (MARC-XII) in Kailua Kona, Hawaii.

Nangeelil, Hall, Sun, and Wesley Frey presented a paper, “Assessing Air Pollution with Spanish Moss as a Bioindicator in the Low Country of Savannah River Basin.”

Dimpfl, Nangeelil, Sun, and Mayir Mamtimin presented a paper, “Forgery Identification of Hetian Jade with Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA).”

Sun, Nangeelil, Qingseng Cai and Scott Lassell presented a paper, “Determining Trace Elements in Cottonseeds with Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA).”

Dimpfl and Hall are graduate students.

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.