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Keenan John Thomas

Portrait of  Keenan John Thomas

  • Title
    Manager, Nuclear Counting Facility
  • Email
  • Phone
    (925) 423-1404

Research Interests

Keenan Thomas he works in the Nuclear & Radiochemistry group and manages the Nuclear Counting Facility (NCF) in the LLNL Nuclear and Chemical Sciences division. The NCF measures nuclear materials and provides critical data for a range of scientific and programmatic missions at LLNL. These include applications in basic nuclear science, stockpile stewardship, nuclear safeguards and nonproliferation, nuclear forensics and counterterrorism, consequence management, emergency response, and environmental monitoring. The facility supports dozens of counting stations for gamma and alpha spectrometry, including the use of automated sample changers, and offers additional techniques for ultralow level counting, such as Compton suppression, coincidence methods, and customized counting schemes for specific applications.

Thomas’s research interests include nuclear and particle astrophysics, nuclear physics, environmental monitoring, nuclear forensics, gamma spectrometry (including low background techniques and neutron activation analysis), and radiation detection.

M.S., Physics, University of South Dakota, 2011

B.S., Physics, Mathematics, University of South Dakota, 2009

  1. D.S. Akerib, et al., Identification of radiopure titanium for the LZ dark matter experiment and future rare event searches, Astroparticle Physics 96 (2017), 1–10, arXiv:1702.02646.
  2. LZ Collaboration, LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) Technical Design Report (2017), arXiv:1703.
  3. B. Champine, M. E. Gooden, Krishichayan, E. B. Norman, N. D. Scielzo, M. A. Stoyer, K. J. Thomas, A. P. Tonchev, W. Tornow, and B. S. Wang, Measurement of the 169Tm(n,3n)167Tm cross section and the associated branching ratios in the decay of 167Tm, Physical Review C 93, 014611 (2016), doi: 10.1103/PhysRevC.93.014611.
  4. E.B. Norman, K.J. Thomas, and K.E. Telhami, Seaborg’s Plutonium? A case study in nuclear forensics. American Journal of Physics 83, 843 (2015).
  5. B. S. Wang, E. B. Norman, N. D. Scielzo, A. R. Smith, K. J. Thomas, and S. A. Wender, Cosmogenic- neutron activation of TeO2 and implications for neutrinoless double-β decay experiments, Physical Review C 92, 024620 (2015).
  6. LZ Collaboration. LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) Conceptual Design Report (2015), arXiv:1509.02910.
  7. A.R. Smith, K.J. Thomas, E.B. Norman, Y.D. Chan, K.T. Lesko, and D.L. Hurley, Low Background Counting at LBNL, Physics Procedia 61, 787–795 (2015). doi: 10.1016/j.phpro.2014.12.101.
  8. A.R. Smith, K.J. Thomas, E.B. Norman, D. L. Hurley, B.T. Lo, Y.D. Chan, P.V. Guillaumon, and B.G. Harvey, Measurements of Fission Products from the Fukushima Daiichi Inicident in San Francisco Bay Area Air Filters, Automobile Filters, Rainwater, and Food, Journal of Environmental Protection 5 (3), 207–221, 2014.
  9. K.J. Thomas, E.B. Norman, A.R. Smith, and Y.D. Chan, Installation of a muon veto for low back- ground gamma spectroscopy at the LBNL low-background facility, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A 724, 47–53, (2013).
  10. K.J.Thomas, A.R. Smith, Y.D. Chan, E.B. Norman, B.S. Wang, and D.L. Hurley, Low Background Counting at the LBNL Low Background Facility. Low Radioactivity Techniques 2013 (LRT 2013), AIP Conference Proceedings 1549, 20–25 (2013).
  11. D.-M. Mei, C. Zhang, K. Thomas, and F. Gray, Early results on radioactive background characterization for Sanford Laboratory and DUSEL experiments, Astroparticle Physics 34 (1), 33–39, 2010.
  12. F.E. Gray, C. Ruybal, J. Totushek, D.-M. Mei, K. Thomas, and C. Zhang. Cosmic ray muon flux at the ,Sanford Underground Laboratory at Homestake, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A 638 (1), 63–66, 2011.
  13. K. J. Thomas, D.-M. Mei, J. Heise, D. Durben, and R. Salve, Radon Monitoring and Early Low Background Counting at the Sanford Underground Laboratory, In R. Ford, editor, Topical Work- shop on Low Radioactivity Techniques: LRT 2010, American Institute of Physics Conference Series 1338, 81–87, April 2011.

PLS Winter Directorate Award, 2018