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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

VIDEO: JLab Particle Detectors, Used in Nuclear Research, Arrive for Refurbishment

By Noell Saunders

The last set of Jefferson Lab particle detectors were delivered June 1 to Old Dominion University's Nuclear and Particle Physics High Bay laboratory, where they will be tested and refurbished by physics students with ODU lab specialist Tom Hartlove.

The 15- to 20-foot-long particle detectors from the U.S. Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab), in Newport News, are used in research projects to study the nuclei of atoms. Old Dominion University is JLab's largest research partner.

Lawrence Weinstein, an ODU Eminent Scholar and professor of physics, said the purpose of the project is to determine if the detectors show tiny flashes of light when electrons and protons pass through them. The flashes of light indicate the detectors are working.

Weinstein, who is one of six professors in ODU's physics department conducting experiments at JLab, adds that particle detectors can aid in research involving nuclear and medical physics.

"Particle detectors can be used for things like PET scans, that help doctors check for the presence of disease, and other nuclear medicine techniques. There are applications in Homeland Security for scanning cargo containers as well, and the detectors can also be used in archaeology, food testing and a whole range of other subjects," he said.

Students will complete the project this summer.

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