Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Cory Gerrity L&S Sciences

Modeling of COSI Detector Fields for Charge Transport Simulation

In Compton telescopes with crossstrip germanium detectors, interactions on the detector strip borders where charge is split between strips result in significant signal loss that degrades spectral resolution. Thus, modeling this charge loss mechanism is essential for making corrections and maximizing the resolving power of the instrument. Yet despite this, the mechanism is not entirely understood. My project seeks to model charge collection and transport in the detectors of the Compton Spectrometer and Imager (COSI), a balloonborne gamma ray telescope operated out of the Space Sciences Laboratory. The research hopes to answer three main questions: What mechanism causes this charge loss? How can the charge loss be described in a numerical model? How can this model be used to apply corrections to the COSI data pipeline? Using Monte Carlo techniques, it is hoped that we can address these questions and extend the results to the next generation of detectors, which are much more susceptible to charge splitting due to their narrower strips.

Message To Sponsor

The opportunity presented by the SURF Fellowship means a great deal to me. If it were not for this support, I would be financially unable to undertake my research project in the summer. This research is essential for me to write my undergraduate thesis, which is an integral part of my application to graduate school, as well as being my greatest exposure to actual scientific work to date. So in a way, everything I have worked for academically, for my entire life, hinges on this fellowship. I have dreamed of becoming a scientist for as long as I can remember I am convinced it is my purpose in life, and the SURF fellowship is letting me fulfil my purpose. It doesnt get more meaningful than that.
Profile image of Cory Gerrity
Major: Physics, Astrophysics
Mentor: Steven Boggs, Physics
Sponsor: Pergo
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