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How Can We Measure Damage?

​In science as in life, the seeds of good ideas can lie fallow. Michael Short found one such seed in the form of a neglected memo from more than 70 years ago that led him to the scientific question that now drives most of his work.

Short, the Norman C. Rasmussen Career Development Professor in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering whose lab is part of the MIT International Design Center, is fascinated by the fundamental definition of material damage at the atomic level. “We don’t have a way to measure radiation damage right now,” he says. “That makes it awfully hard to quantify.” Put a piece of metal into a nuclear reactor, he says, and despite any existing tests you might run on the material afterward, “you can’t tell me how much damage is left behind.”

To read the rest of story, go to MIT's Spectrum's website.

Date Published: 2018-03-05T07:00:00Z