Researchers dream about projects that go perfectly – protocols that work on the first attempt, equipment that doesn’t break, and results that are statistically significant. The project that Felix Cormier, Marcel Georgin, Stephen Koelbl, and Robert Oda undertook was not this kind of project. Fraught with dangers including explosions and radiation, full of soldering, and immensely frustrating, this gamma ray detector certainly did not put itself together.
On the bright side, they did get a peer-reviewed paper in the McGill Science Undergraduate Research Journal (MSURJ) out of it.
The gamma ray detector they built was based on earlier designs used in Professor David Hanna’s lab. Their design, though, was slightly different. Previously, the detector they used was shaped like an octagon – a symmetrical shape along two axes.