Department of Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences

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Research

Faculty and students in Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences conduct research in a number of fields, including radioactive waste management, environmental health physics, radiochemistry, therapeutic medical physics, diagnostic imaging physics, laser biophysics, radiation biology, and radiation physics.

The department has a number of dedicated laboratories on campus:

Spectroscopy Laboratory

This laboratory contains three high-purity germanium gamma ray detection systems and a 16-channel alpha spectroscopy system. The gamma spectroscopy systems allow quick and accurate identification and quantification of any gamma ray emitting radionuclides at environmental levels.

Liquid Scintillation Laboratory

In addition to housing a brand-new low-level alpha/beta discriminating liquid scintillation counter, this laboratory has two Oxford automated gross alpha/beta proportional counters and three gas flow proportional counters. The liquid scintillation counter is particularly useful in determining levels of 3H, 14C, 32P, 35S, or 90Sr in samples in a liquid matrix.

Environmental Radiochemistry Laboratory

In the Environmental Radiochemistry Laboratory, soil, water, vegetation, and air filter samples are prepared for counting. Special equipment includes cation and anion separation columns, drying ovens, furnaces, various environmental shakers, and radiochemical fume hoods.

Radiochemistry and Environmental Health Physics Laboratory

This lab located in the Science, Engineering and Technology Building and contains three hoods—one for radioactive work and two for nonradioactive use. This facility is ideally suited for performing radiochemical separations and analyses.

Hot Sample Preparation Laboratory

This laboratory contains facilities used to prepare moderately radioactive environmental samples and radioactive standards and tracers.

Survey Instrument Laboratory

The Survey Instrument Laboratory serves primarily as an undergraduate teaching laboratory. It contains a fume hood designed to handle radioactive samples, miniscaler workstations, and a variety of portable proportional, Geiger-Muller, and scintillation detectors.

Tissue Culture Laboratory

This laboratory contains all necessary equipment for tissue culturing, including hoods, incubators, centrifuges, microscopes, refrigerators, and freezers. This lab also contains a number of portable diode lasers, which are used for cancer cell irradiation.

Radiography Imaging Laboratories

These labs contain three fully equipped diagnostic x-ray units (two film and one digital), a film processing room, a screen-film mammography unit, and a C-arm.