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The simple, portable device identifies materials through their characteristic energy signals as unique as fingerprints. The three detectors are housed in a thermos-sized container that is connected to a laptop computer. The device issues a signal turning the laptop display bright red when nuclear material of interest is identified. | Photo courtesy of Princeton University
This Thursday, June 28, at 1 p.m. EDT, three researchers in the fields of materials science and fusion research will participate in #LabChat Office Hours: Extreme Circumstances, Unique Solutions.
Idaho National Laboratory materials scientist John Garnier and nuclear engineer George Griffith will be tweeting from the Lab’s Twitter account, @INL. These researchers created a process to create carbon fiber for high-performance applications in high-heat environments like in jet turbine parts, aircraft structures and rocket engines. All these applications require a material that’s strong yet light – and also inexpensive. In the past, similar materials have cost $6,000 per pound. The alpha carbon fiber they created will cost about $100 per pound. Ask them questions tomorrow about materials science or the aerospace and industrial applications of their game-changing technology. Dr. Garnier talks more about her field and discoveries in the Lab Breakthroughs video and Q&A: Better Fibers for Better Products.
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory head of tritium systems Charles Gentile will be tweeting from @PPPLab. Gentile created a system about the size of a thermos that identifies in real time whether a radiation source is naturally occurring, medical, or unauthorized. It’s currently in use at ports, rail stations, tollbooths, airports and military installations. Ask him questions about the affects of his invention on national security (but not too much), fusion energy, or his work with the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation. Gentile talks more about his discovery, the Miniature Integrated Nuclear Detection System (MINDS) in the Lab Breakthroughs video and Q&A: Fusion Research Leads to Antiterrorism Device.
This Office Hours tweetchat is part of the Lab Breakthrough video series, which highlights the incredible technological feats accomplished in fundamental and applied research. Check out the Q&A’s with other Lab Breakthroughs researchers on the energy.gov topic page or see the full video series on the Lab Breakthrough YouTube playlist.
Can’t make it to the tweetchat? Use #labchat in a tweet anytime between now and the tweetchat, and the researchers will address your questions or comments. The tweetchat will be moderated by @energy, so even if you don’t use Twitter, you can e-mail your questions. We’ll pass them along during the tweetchat. We will also pass along questions and comments posted on Facebook.