The 2015 Nuclear Analytical Techniques Summer School will be held at the UC Davis in Davis, CA from June June 26 to July 02.
We look forward to seeing you at UC Davis. The school will start at 8:00am in the Physics Building Room 185.

Topic: Nuclear Analytical Techniques (NAT)

This year the NSCC summer school will follow immediately after the [[|NNPSS 2015 summer school]]. The program will consist of some lectures, but mostly hands-on activities involving nuclear analytical techniques. Students will perform Neutron Activation Analysis using the [[|McClellan Nuclear Research Center]], study proton elastic scattering at the[[|Crocker cyclotron facility]], gain experience and skills in counting with NaI and HPGe crystals, and learn about detectors and analysis techniques important across a broad range of science and industry.


There is no registration fee to pay, but you or your institute will be liable for your expenses (travel to and from Davis, accommodation and meals). For those interested, we will arrange on-campus housing. A limited number of fellowships (provided via NSSC) will be awarded to cover the cost of housing. Please indicate in your application if you are applying for the housing support.

A grant from the National Science Foundation will be used to encourage participation of undergraduate (or first year graduate) students from underrepresented groups. The NSF grant is available to cover all the cost for 1-2 URM students. Please indicate if you are applying for the URM support.


The summer school is open to graduate students and upper-level undergraduates. Interested graduate students should be enrolled in a physics, nuclear chemistry, or nuclear engineering program. Undergraduate applicants should have at least one course in quantum mechanics, differential equations, and modern physics. Typically these students would be entering their senior year. The 2015 summer school is limited to 16 participants.

Applications to attend the School should include: – a completed application form and – an academic transcript (unofficial transcripts are accepted.

The deadline for receiving the application is May 25th 2015. Application is now closed.


Most of the activities will have preactivity tasks assigned. Please do it before your scheduled activity and familiarize yourself with the material.

Please fill out CNL RUA form required for dosimeter badge issuance.
Without it you can not follow proton activity.

Checking in at the Dorm: 
If you are staying at the dorm, we will send individual dorm assignments via email.

 Required Clothing: 
Working in labs at UC Davis will requires that you wear long pants and closed toed-shoes. Please remember to bring these with you. Other required Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) will be provided to you as needed.
If you are driving to campus you must park in the visitor lots. The easiest is the Mondavi Parking Structure, which is about a ten minute walk from the Physics Building (campus maps are available online). Note, you will need to get a parking pass from the machine each day (cost is $9).
If you are flying into Sacramento, there is a convenient door-to-door shuttle called the Davis Airport ($23/trip). Make a reservation in advance at Davis is also served by the Amtrak Capitol Corridor line, if you want to take the train. It is about a 30-minute walk from the station to the dorm through the downtown area.

2015 Participants

NSSC Participants: Erin Hansen UCLA, Chelsea Bartram UNC Chapel Hill, Krystal Alfonso UCLA, Thomas Gilliss UNC Chapel Hill, Alec Stein UCLA, Benjamin Land UC Berkeley, Edward Jenner UCI Rose Pierre UCI
URM Participants: Alvin Garcia UCLA -UG
Local NSSC Participants: Jacob, Cutter UCD, Megan Long UCD, Steven Gardiner UCD, Jessi Hartman UCD – UG and Teal Pershing UCD

International participants: Sochoong Park Yeungnam University
and Seongmun Kim Yeungnam University


Group A: Chelsea, Benjamin, Megan and Sochoong

Group B: Teal, Erin, Rose and Alvin

Group C: Jacob, Edward, Jessi and Krystal

Group D: Steven, Alec, Thomas and Seongmun


  1. Neutron Activation Analysis
  2. Charge particle loss – Proton
  3. Field programable Gate Array – ELEC1/2/3
  4. CRAYFIS Radiation measurement with your phone- CRAYFIS
  5. Gamma spectroscopy with inorganic scintillators- GAMMA1
  6. Gamma spectroscopy with Ge detector- GAMMA23
  7. Basic characterization of PMT- PMT1
  8. Cosmic ray flux measurements – PMT2
  9. Basic characterization of SiPM – SiPM


  1. Reactor physics
  2. Neutron Activation Analysis
  3.  Cyclotrons
  4. Medical Exposure to Ionizing Radiation: The Risks/Benefit Equation and Opportunities for Improvement
  5.  Scintillation Detectors
  6.  Cryogenic Detectors
  7. Solid State Detectors
  8.  Low background assay
  9. Cosmic ray
  10. Radiation damage
  11.  Bethe Bloch
  12. Nuclear policy

LOC for hands-on NSSC school @ UC Davis 2015

Mani Tripathi is a Professor of Physics at UC Davis. Prof. Tripathi’s research interests span the disciplines of particle physics and nuclear applications. He is involved in searching for dark matter using the LUX experiment at the Homestake Mine in Lead, SD, and with the CMS detector at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. The nuclear applications component consists of radio-assay of materials via neutron activation analysis, using the McClellan reactor at UC Davis. In addition, he is working on radiation detectors such as gaseous electron multipliers, tungsten-silicon calorimeters, and next generation silicon-based intelligent charged particle trackers. His group has developed the NEST software package, which is being adopted by experiments around the world.

Bob Svoboda is a professor at UC Davis whose interests are in neutrino physics. His NSSC work includes collaboration with LLNL on the deployment and calibration of a neutrino detector for reactor monitoring, and development of the Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) facility at MNRC for use in analysis of trace amount of radioactive contaminants in bulk materials.

 Emilija Pantic is assistant professor at UC Davis whose interests are in the fields of experimental dark matter searches and neutrino physics using noble liquid based detectors. She is also working on development and characterization of novel photosensors and other R&D efforts towards future noble liquid detectors in rare event searches.

Chris Grant is a postdoc in the experimental high-energy physics group at UC Davis. Dr. Grant’s research focuses on the development of ultra-low background particle detectors having the capability to search for dark matter and new particle physics phenomena. He is involved in the data production and detector calibration efforts for the Double Chooz reactor neutrino experiment which provided the first observation of a positive theta-13, the last remaining neutrino mixing angle yet to be measured with reasonable accuracy. In addition to Double Chooz, he is also involved in neutron activation analysis (NAA), an invaluable resource for radio-assaying materials used in the construction of ultra-low background particle detectors. His studies are performed at the UC Davis McClellan Nuclear Research Center, where he seeks to improve the sensitivity of NAA in order to further extend the capabilities of ultra-low background particle physics experiments.

Aaron Manalaysay is a postdoc in the astroparticle physics group at UC Davis. His research activities have included dark matter direct detection with cryogenic crystals and liquid xenon, and very-high-energy gamma ray astronomy with the up-coming Cherenkov Telescope Array. Currently he is involved in the LUX dark matter search experiment and R&D efforts for its successor, LZ.

Scott Stephenson is a postdoc in the particle physics group at UC Davis. His research interests include searching for dark matter in earth-based particle detectors and investigating novel detection techniques. He is part of the LUX and LZ collaborations which is operating large liquid xenon dark matter detectors at the Sanford Underground Research facility in the Black Hills, South Dakota. He is also involved in smaller scale detector development at UCD. These research detectors provide an efficient test bed for improvement of large scale experiments and inform future particle detector topologies.

Nick Walsh is a graduate student working with Dr. Svoboda. He is measuring neutron fluxes of the Crocker cyclotron neutron beam and using these fluxes to extract an argon-40 cross section. This particular cross section, 40Ar+n→40Cl+p, is a background to supernova neutrinos detection in argon. There are several argon detectors, both running and proposed, which will measure various neutrino properties and potentially supernova neutrinos. Previously, he was involved in reactor neutrino experiments both of which used gadolinium-loaded liquid scintillator to detect reactor antineutrinos.

Ben Godfrey is a PhD candidate at UC Davis. His interests include detector R&D and analog electronics. In the past, he has characterized the radiation hardness of static random access memory for use in L1 trigger development at the CMS detector.

Dustin Burns is a PhD candidate at UC Davis. He is involved with the CMS detector at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland. His CMS research consists of a collider production search for dark matter in the mono-Higgs channel, ECAL prototype beam testing at SPS at CERN, and offline L1 trigger software development. He is also a founding member of the CRAYFIS (Cosmic RAYs Found In Smartphones) experiment, which detects ultra high energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) with a ground-based array of smartphones and other mobile devices. For CRAYFIS, Dustin has worked on characterizing the CMOS sensor in smartphones to understand the response and detection efficiency of various particles, including muons from the SPS beam and from cosmics. He has also worked on the UHECR reconstruction algorithm, simulating the reconstruction resolution of shower parameters.

Teal Pershing is a Ph.D. candidate at UC Davis. His research interests include detector R&D and neutrino physics. Teal’s past work for NSSC has included assaying of liquid scintillator components using neutron activation analysis. Teal is currently working with the SNO+ neutrinoless double-beta decay experiment to develop a liquid scintillator purification technique through nanofiltration. Teal also develops event generators for the RAT-PAC event simulator/analysis package with the WATCHMAN collaboration.

Previous schools

2013    2012

NAT NSSC summer school is supported by