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Kai Vetter

Supervising Professor, Professor-in-Residence, Nuclear Engineering Department
University of California, Berkeley

  • 1995 PhD, Physics, J. W. Goethe-University, Frankfurt (Nuclear Physics)
  • 1990 M.S., Physics, J. W. Goethe-University, Frankfurt (Nuclear Physics)
  • 1987 B.S., Physics, Technical University, Darmstadt (Physics)
  • About:
    Professor Vetter teaches the core NE104 course, “Radiation Detection and Nuclear Instrumentation Laboratory” which combines lectures and laboratory work to teach the basic concepts, implementations, and operations in radiation detection. In addition, he teaches NE107, “Introduction to Imaging”, an introduction to medical imaging physics and systems, including X-ray radiography and Computed Tomography (CT), radionuclide imaging (planar imaging as well as Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET)), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Examples of advanced concepts that are being discussed are the recently developed phase-contrast X-ray imaging and hyper-polarization MRI In Fall 2011 Professor Vetter introduced the new graduate level course NE204, “Advanced Concepts Concepts in Radiation Detection”. This course also combines lectures and experiments, however, focuses on advanced concepts in radiation detection ranging from basic and advanced digital filters for signal proceissing in semiconductor and scintillator detectors to radiation imaging. Gamma-ray imaging concepts based on pinhole, parallel-hole, and coded aperture collimators as well as Compton imaging are being demonstrated employing 3D postion sensitive segmented germanium detectors. Neutron imaging is explored based on the neutron scatter camera concept employing an array of liquid scintillators. Professor Vetter’s research interests range from fundamental physics to biomedical imaging and homeland security. He is authored and co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications. He is also staff scientist at the Nuclear Science Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and heads the recntly established Applied Nuclear Physics program there. This program entails almost all aspects of radiation detection including the detector fabrication, readout, integration and signal processing.
    Current Research Focus:
    Development and demonstration of new and/or improved gamma-ray (and neutron) imaging concepts for applications ranging from Homeland Security and Nuclear Non-Proliferation to Biomedical Imaging. Specifically, detection and imaging schemes are being developed from the micrometer to the meter scale. High-resolution CCDs are being developed with micrometer resolution to measure details of radiation scattering induced charged particles, large-scale (e.g. 1 squaremeter) scitnitllator based gamma-ray imager are being employed to demonstrate new capabilities in the detection and identification of materials in large standoff distances. Mapping and characterization of radiation backgrounds in our enviroenment Environmental monitoring of radioactivity in our environement; Fukushima measurements; Transport and dispersion of radioactive materials in our environment. Development of the Nuclear Street View, the presentation of nuclear radiation fields in our environment in 3D, combined with 3D objects in our environment. 3D Volumetri imaging; Fusion of 3D radiation and object information based on spectroscopic gamma-ray imaging and visual and laser-mapping imaging. Development and demonstration of real-time ion-cancer beam verification based on prompt gamma-ray imaging. Development and demonstration of new and improved concepts in Ge detector technologies to provide unprecedented capabilities in observing rare decays or rare interactions. One of the objectives is the reduction in electronic noise for kg-scale detectors to levels significantly below 100 eV. Search for neutrino-less double-beta decay in Ge-76 to obtain better understanding on fundamental properties of neutrinos to answer fundamental questions such as: Is the neutrino its own anti-neutrino or what is the mass of neutrinos? Detection of Coherent Nuclear Neutrino Scattering, a predicted Standard Model process, that could potentially enable the detection of neutrinos from nuclear power reactors. Basic nuclear physics experiments and associated instrumentation to better understand the basic structure of nuclei. Characterization and enhancement of current semiconductor fabrcation processes. Development of strip-based CCD sensors for ultra-high resolution fast readout. Pulse-shape analysis in segmented semiconductor detectors for improved event reconstruction.