Essay on Proton Radiography

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The purpose of this project is to compare radiation imaging simulations of protons to X-rays. In this project proton radiography is proposed as an alternative diagnostic method for the nuclear stockpile. The basis of this project is the use of proton radiography for implosion tests. In any nuclear weapon, implosion geometry is crucial. Implosion tests are needed to ensure that the weapons will perform as expected after years of storage. These tests also help validate computer simulations of nuclear weapon performance. The underground nuclear test ban treaty of 19631 makes confirmation of computer simulations vital to stockpile stewardship. In an implosion test a full-scale weapon mock-up is designed and created using a surrogate metal that …show more content…
The X-rays that are not absorbed are captured behind the object by a detector. The detector can be ether film that is sensitive to X-rays or a digital detector, both will give a 2D representation of the superimposed structures. Proton imaging began with Andreas Koehler in 1968.4 When interacting with a medium, all protons undergo electromagnetic interactions with electrons and nuclei, and some have head-on collisions with an atomic nucleus. During these nuclear interactions the proton generally survives, reemerging at a largely scattered angle with a much lower energy, and, in some cases, an additional proton. A magnetic lens named Zumbro after its inventor John Zumbro2, a Los Alamos physicist, is used in proton radiography to re-focus the scattered protons.
Proton vs. X-ray: The weapons stockpile hydro-tests are completed at the Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test facility (DARHT). DARHT became fully operational in 2004 at Los Alamos National lab in New Mexico. The DARHT facility is capable of taking four sequential x-ray radiographs along one axis and one radiograph along a perpendicular axis, providing simultaneous views of an implosion from two directions.2 The radiographs' exposure time of 60 nanoseconds will freeze the action of an imploding mock-up to within one millimeter.
Proton radiography's ability to take twenty or more sequential radiographs per hydro-test, as opposed to DARHT's four. Proton radiography will be able to…

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