Morgan T. Burks

Portrait of  Morgan T. Burks

  • Title
    Staff Scientist
  • Email
  • Phone
    (925) 423-2798
  • Organization
    Not Available

Morgan Burks is a physicist working in the Nuclear Security Physics group at LLNL. He specializes in instrumentation for high-resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy for space and terrestrial applications. He helped design and build a gamma-ray spectrometer that flew on the NASA MESSENGER spacecraft to the planet Mercury. That mission was the first ever to orbit Mercury, and the spectrometer took the first ever gamma-ray data of the planet. Based on that instrument, he designed a light-weight, low-power spectrometer for the detection and identification of nuclear material in the field. That patented instrument, called GeMini, has been commercialized and is being deployed as the next generation of high-resolution gamma-ray detectors.

Burks is currently the principal investigator on two new instruments for NASA missions. The first is sending a gamma-ray spectrometer to the asteroid belt to study an exotic M-class asteroid called Psyche. The second instrument will go to the moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos, to help understand their composition and origin.

Ph.D. Physics, University of Arkansas, Little Rock, 1998