Sohee Chun, a graduate student in physics in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, recently was awarded one of NASA’s prestigious Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science Technology (FINESST) grants, an award specifically designed for graduate student research projects. Chun will do the research in cooperation with her adviser, Henric Krawczynski, a professor of physics. The start date is Sept. 1.
Chun will investigate the use of a high purity germanium and a bismuth germanate active shield inside a cryostat and around a gamma ray detector to reduce background events from cosmic rays or secondary particles. The study will involve simulations of the performance of the shields to optimize the design and experimental studies to verify the model and the shielding performance. The results will contribute to the study of the 511 keV gamma ray emission from the galactic center.