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Interdisciplinary Studies with the Hope Particle Accelerator

Project Full Title:

Interdisciplinary Studies with the Hope Particle Accelerator HOPE STUDENTS

Project Mentor(s):

DeYoung,Paul; Monteagudo Godoy,Belen

Project Mentor(s) EMail:;

Project Start Date:


Project End Date:


Project Description:

Hope College is home to a 1.7 MV tandem pelletron particle accelerator. This accelerator is used to study a variety of (primarily) interdisciplinary questions. Current plans call for two studies. 1) Astronauts traveling to Mars will be subject to increased radiation exposures. What are the health effects of this low-level chronic exposure? The Nuclear Group again expects to partner with Hope College biologists (the Rivera research group) to shed light on this question. The Hope College particle accelerator will serve as a controlled source of gamma radiation. Protons with energies in the MeV range will be scattered off a target and radiation will be produced and impact biological samples. Over the course of the summer, the effect on health and behavior will be monitored. 2) PFAS contamination of ground water is a serious health concern. This contamination is frequently found around airports (PFAS as a component of fire-fighting foams) and land fills (where water proofing remnants end up). The Nuclear Group is attempting to develop a rapid test for PFAS in water based on simple evaprativeconcentration and (p,gamma) reactions with 19F (the F in PFAS). These gamma are measured with a high purity germanium detector with an associated active Compton suppression shield. Dates subject to change.

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