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Title:Applicability of cosmic ray muon radiography to nuclear nonproliferation
Author(s):Tate, Aric Charles
Advisor(s):Perdekamp, Matthias G
Contributor(s):Huff, Kathryn
Department / Program:Nuclear, Plasma, & Rad Engr
Discipline:Nuclear, Plasma, Radiolgc Engr
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Nuclear terrorism poses a real threat to the United States, particularly from non-state actors. Every day, more than thirty-thousand shipping containers arrive at United States ports. The contents of these steel vessels need to be scanned for illicit and hazardous materials in a timely fashion. This procedure requires a wide array of detector modalities, alerting authorities to the presence of undeclared items, including radioactive isotopes capable arming a nuclear device. Cosmic ray muon radiography offers a passive detection system capable of probing the atomic number, Z, of materials within shipping containers by measuring the deviation of muons as they traverse the volume being scanned. This thesis aims to provide a systematic evaluation of the Point of Closest Approach (PoCA) reconstruction method used in cosmic ray muon radiography. After a review of relevant literature in the field and of recent attempts to obtain nuclear weapons by non-state actors, a Toy Monte Carlo (TMC) is developed to gain a first order understanding of the processes responsible for multiple scattering of muons through materials. One of the most popular Monte Carlo transport codes in high energy physics, Geant4, is used to simulate the multiple scattering of cosmic ray muons through materials of low, medium, and high Z (carbon, iron, highly enriched uranium). A reconstruction algorithm based on the PoCA method is implemented using C++/ROOT, and imaging of simple geometries based on scattering angle is achieved. The impact of different variables related to the detection setup, both geometrical and detector related, is examined in the context of reconstruction accuracy. Interpretation of results, as well as perspectives for future work, is discussed at the end of the work.
Issue Date:2020-05-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Aric Charles Tate
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-08-26
Date Deposited:2020-05

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