Dynamic Neutron Transport in Transient Systems: Revisiting Old Experiments with New Tools
Abstract: In this talk I will use the setting of some old experiments (back to the 1940s) to discuss the challenges of dynamic neutron transport. These neutronics problems have the time dependent nature of the neutron field and the delayed-neutron precursors an essential feature of understanding the behavior of these systems. In particular, there will be a deep dive into the Dragon experiments of 1945 performed by Otto Frisch. I will discuss the challenges in modeling these systems and how we can model them today using modern simulations and data-driven modeling. Along the way I will point out the open problems in the theory of these problems, the different types of eigenvalues in nuclear systems, and discuss the future research into modeling such systems.
Bio: Ryan McClarren, Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame and Fellow of the American Nuclear Society, has applied simulation to understand, analyze, and optimize systems and data throughout his academic career. He has authored numerous publications in refereed journals on machine learning, uncertainty quantification, and numerical methods applied to particle transport problems, as well as three scientific texts: Machine Learning for Engineers, Uncertainty Quantification and Predictive Computational Science: A Foundation for Physical Scientists, and Engineers and Computational Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Science Using Python. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Computational & Theoretical Transport and was a founder of the data science startup Farsite that developed predictive data analytics tools for some of the largest companies in the retail, health care, transportation, and private equity industries. A well-known member of the computational nuclear engineering community, Dr. McClarren has won research awards from NSF, DOE, and three national labs. Prior to joining Notre Dame in 2017, he was Assistant Professor of Nuclear Engineering at Texas A&M University, and previously a research scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Computational Physics and Methods group.