News & Events

Xavier Mougeot (CEA Saclay)

Event Details

McDonald Institute Seminar Series

Date: March 30, 2021

Time: 2:30pm - 3:30pm

Xavier Mougeot (CEA Saclay)

Weak interaction transitions in ionizing radiation metrology: from fundamental physics to applications

An accurate knowledge of the radioactive decays by weak interaction, i.e. beta transitions and electron captures, is essential in many scientific fields: tests of the Standard Model; dark matter and sterile neutrino detection; ionizing radiation metrology; detector characterization; nuclear medicine; residual power and real-time monitoring of nuclear reactors; or fuel management after irradiation. The question of the quality, the accuracy and the completeness of the nuclear data has become an important issue in these various fields. Over the past ten years, the Laboratoire National Henri Becquerel has been involved in this topic, drawing on its expertise in radionuclide metrology and in evaluation of atomic and nuclear decay data. Cryogenic experts of the laboratory developed a new calorimetric measurement technique, which has been successfully applied to beta spectrometry. A dedicated detection system, using silicon detectors, has been developed in conjunction with a specific radioactive source preparation technique and a spectral unfolding process. In parallel, a theoretical study has been conducted to improve the predictions, leading in particular to the creation of the BetaShape calculation code. This study has improved and supplemented the evaluated nuclear decay data. The results obtained put the Laboratoire National Henri Becquerel at the global best level on this topic. The acquired expertise could make possible a significant contribution to some research subjects that will address fundamental issues in the forthcoming years.


McDonald Insititute seminars bring together experimental and theoretical astroparticle physicists and astronomers. They are held approximately fortnightly, September to November and January to March, and on an ad hoc basis outside of term. They currently take place on Tuesdays at 2:30 PM on Zoom. Contact Aaron Vincent if you would like to attend.