Ms Cristiana Arcidiacono


Employed as a Pre Doc. University College London (UCL), United Kingdom
Start Date: September 2003, End Date: December 2005

I am a PhD student at University College of London. I got my degree “Laurea in Physics and Environmental Physics” at University of Catania, Italy. As a holder of the INFN scholarship during my thesis work, I was trained at South National Laboratory (LNS) of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) for two years (2000/2001). There, I was mainly concerned in vivo Dosimetry and tissue inhomogeneity study at the Garibaldi Hospital and Policlinic of Catania and the treatment of critical organs (the eye) through adrotherapy at INFN-LNS (Catana Project).

I came to UCL at the end of September 2002 and begun working on positron impact differential ionization studies as MPhil student. Since August 2003, I have been involved in the EPIC project at UCL as a PhD student and participated in the Vacuum Physics and Techniques course at Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium. Upon my return, I gave an oral presentation on the course to the whole group. Under the supervision of Professor Gaetana Laricchia, Dr Akos Kover and Dr Zoran Pesic, I am being trained on experimental methods about collision physics (positron-atom/molecules) with particular attention to positron induced (direct and total) ionization. I have also attended three English Language courses at the Language Centre sponsored by the Graduate School at UCL.

As part of my duties, I am responsible for the daily running of one of the electrostatic beamlines at UCL, to perform data analysis and simulations. Since January this year, I have been working closely with Dr Pesic and have assisted in the assembly of another apparatus. Until now, we have tested the system and preliminary measurements have been conducted. Measurements of direct ionization cross section with Ar were performed as a test. A good agreement with previous measurements has been found. Thereafter, first direct ionization cross-section for water have been obtained. These data will be presented at the next EPIC satellite meeting, Austria. New tests are in progress to enable measurement of the total ionization cross section for H2O.

In conclusion, my PhD position inside the EPIC network at UCL provides me with a great opportunity for learning about the low-energy collision of antimatter with gaseous species and, hopefully in the future, with further biologically important molecules.