Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics

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Amos Breskin

Professor, Unit Head
Location:Edna and K.B. Weissman Building of Physical Sciences, Room 210

Current Research Interests

Advanced radiation detectors have an important impact on many fields of research, such as: particle, nuclear and atomic physics, medical diagnostics, biology, material science and others.   Their role is to  localize precisely, within a fraction of a millimeter, showers of elementary particles emitted in atomic collisions, x-rays traversing patient's body in medical radiography or x-rays diffracted from crystals in their atomic structure studies.

The ever growing variety and complexity of scientific problems, motivates the search for faster, more precise imaging detectors, capable of operating under very large radiation flux.

Scientists at the Radiation Detection Physics Laboratory are currently studying basic phenomena related to radiation detection ,via its interaction with gaseous and solid media. These are the basis for new concepts of modern imaging detectors.

Novel devices ,that permit most precise measurements of ionization deposited by radiation in gas, permit the detection of very soft x-rays emitted by light atomic elements. This has an important impact on elemental analysis of surfaces in electron microscopy and in studies of composition of stars in astrophysics.

The technique permits the precise evaluation, for the first time, of radiation damage effects to the living cell at the DNA level. Studies carried out with particle accelerators,

Involve precise ionization measurements in DNA gas models in correlation with simultaneous DNA molecule survival experiments. The detailed results could have strong impact on studies of radiation protection and in cancer therapy.

Radiation-induced electron emission from solids, followed by their multiplication in gas media, is the basis for a newly introduced imaging concept for x-rays, neutrons and light. Theoretical and experimental studies of the electron emission process from selected radiation converters, result in a series of novel precise imaging detectors for x-ray diffraction studies, relativistic particle identification, medical radiography and mammography and others.

Methods for improving the detection of very small cancer lesions are currently investigated. They consist of enhancing the tumor contrast in x-ray radiography, by its specific loading with contrast agents. This will make very small tumors, of millimeter size or less, more visible in radiography or in computerized tomography. The new concept combines the development of methods for selectively conveying contrast materials to tumors, and efficient digital imaging techniques.