Using Positron Beams to Probe Radiation Damage
A multi-institution team has used positron beams to probe the nature of radiation effects, providing new insight into how damage is produced in iron films. This exploration can improve the safety of materials used in nuclear reactors and other radiation environments.

"Positrons do not damage the material and they can reveal defects involving single atoms at very small concentrations," said Blas Uberuaga, a Los Alamos National Laboratory materials scientist on the project. "They are thus one of the most sensitive probes we can use to analyze radiation damage, providing critical data on the nature of the defects in the material and building our understanding of radiation effects." Positrons, a form of antimatter, annihilate when they come in contact with electrons in the material, giving information about the local configuration of atoms.

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