Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy
- 224 Nieuwland Science Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
- +1 574-631-7554
Concurrent Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Applied Nuclear Physics encompasses a broad array of experimental measurements, and my research interests lie at the interface between any nuclear or atomic physics measurement method and materials that impact society. This is the definition of applied research, in the sense that my group typically does not develop the basic techniques that have existed for decades in some cases, but we work on applying traditional methods in novel environments. Most of our measurements are accelerator-based (known as Ion Beam Analysis), where light charged particles are used to bombard the surface of some solid material. The resultant x-rays, gamma-rays or UV-Vis light emitted, plus the scattering of charged particles can yield important information about the elemental content and distribution within a sample. These measurements have applications when they determine the presence of lead in paint, or halogenated flame-retardants in furniture, or the occurrence of per-and polyfluorinated compounds (PFAS) in the environment. Other work involves the harvesting of long-lived radioisotopes from accelerators for medical, environmental or defense purposes. In each case the successful publication of new science using nuclear physics techniques leads to societal impact.
A.B. Princeton University, 1981
Ph.D. SUNY Stony Brook, 1987