A New Laboratory Course in Applied Radiological Measurements
K.J. Kearfott; J.A. Harvey; S.C. Dewey; M.L. Rodrigues; R.B. Gunnett; and A.L. Lehnert (University of Michigan)
Hands-on experimental experience is an invaluable part of the education of radiation safety professionals and the early training of future instrumentation designers. Presently, the undergraduate and graduate student curriculums in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences at the University of Michigan have at their centerpiece well-established, required laboratory courses on the fundamentals of radiation detection. A second course available to students is comprised of a collection of introductory experiments in the plasma sciences, nuclear reactor measurements, fundamental radiation measurements, and radiation effects on materials. Another advanced laboratory course exists in plasma physics. Despite the availability of these courses, it was decided that an advanced laboratory course dedicated to the practical application of radiation measurements to public, environmental, and occupational radiation safety would be of tremendous interest and benefit to students. Medical School faculty in diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine contributed several hands-on experiments. The instructor and graduate student participants in this year's pilot course designed and tested several new experiments. These included exercises involving alpha spectroscopy, radon measurements and kinetics, environmental sampling, in situ and laboratory gamma ray spectroscopy, calibrations for dosimetry, and the physics of thermoluminescent and optically stimulated luminescent detectors. Ultimately, several of these experiments will be linked to computational modeling exercises being developed separately as student independent study projects or as part of the department's shielding and other courses.