The main research objective of the Ionizing Radiation Research Group (Grup de Recerca en Radiacions Ionitzants, GRRI) is studying the ionizing radiation interactions with matter. This has been the main goal since the late 70’s, when the “Corpuscular Physics Laboratory” (Laboratori de Física Corpuscular, LFC), the precursor of the group, was established in the then called “Department of Fundamental Physics”. Specific research subjects have varied with time, as well as the persons in charge; but always with the common objective of studying ionizing radiations. The GRRI present structure, inside the Radiation Physics Unit of the UAB Physics Department, has three active research lines, not excluding the possibility of opening new lines if appropriate conditions are fulfilled. These lines are:
- Characterizing Radon levels in homes and workplaces and studying Radon transport mechanisms
- Interaction of neutrons with matter, neutron dosimetry and spectrometry
- Cosmic radiation and astroparticle physics: detection of the high-energy gamma component
Therefore, the GRRI main common goal is performing quality research on the wide field of detection of (directly or indirectly) ionizing radiation. It is from this common goal that the group activities are organized into the three above mentioned subjects. In fact, all subjects share the physical processes under study, namely, the energy deposition by charged particles and by electromagnetic radiation in matter, as well as the nuclear reactions that neutrons may originate in different absorbers, leading to their energy deposited in the absorber. Transport of charged and neutral particles, and also of electromagnetic radiation, is also studied and numerically simulated. Transport of Radon gas, a radioactive alpha emitter, is also modeled and simulated, with particular emphasis in the mechanism leading to its penetration and accumulation inside habited homes and workplaces. The effect of ionizing radiation on humans, either professionally exposed to it or belonging to the general public that may be incidentally exposed, or even on patients subject to medical treatments using radiation, is also studied by the GRRI.