Andrew Canning, Ph.D., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Nuclear detection materials are important for a broad range of applications ranging from homeland security and non-proliferation to medical applications and also cosmology and particle physics in the case of gamma ray detectors. In this talk I will give a brief overview of nuclear detectors in particular focusing on gamma ray detectors based on phosphor scintillators. Gamma ray detection represents a unique and interesting challenge for first-principles calculations due the complexity of the detection process. I will show how in recent years first-principles calculations have been applied to gamma ray detection materials to better understand the mechanism for gamma ray detection and aid in the design of new better detectors for different applications.