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This article published on March 14, 2006, tells about the record-breaking detector that may aid in nuclear inspections. Scientists at the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have designed and demonstrated the world's most accurate gamma ray detector, which is expected to be useful eventually in verifying inventories of nuclear materials and detecting radioactive contamination in the environment. Researchers expect the 100-detector array to measure 1 square centimeter in size. The NIST team already has developed multiplexed readout systems to measure the signals from large sensor arrays, and recent advances in commercial refrigeration technology are expected to allow push button operation of the system without liquid cryogens. The ongoing research is funded by NIST and by the U.S. Department of Energy.

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