MIT NSE Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Development of the Concept of Wigner Energy
The core of a nuclear reactor is a physically hostile area: a maelstrom of energy, heat, and movement within which the materials that compose the core must withstand fluid corrosion and degradation. Coupled with these purely chemical damages are the effects of intense radiation damage from the nuclear fuel. Predicting how the materials that make up the nuclear reactor will act is of vital importance. Through this research project, we will be expanding the concept of Wigner energy, a unit of stored energy to measure radiation damage. We will be performing both irradiation experiments and measurement with differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) as well as computational validation using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to quantify Wigner energy in a range of materials.
I have had the opportunity to do computational research in nuclear in the past, and I am excited to learn about the experimental side of the field. I enjoy exploring interconnection between theory and practice as it is a realm where we validate and potentially change our theories through the experimentation, and put our understanding of our physical reality to the test.