The mission of the Instrumentation Division, with a staff of around 40, is to develop state-of-the-art instrumentation required for experimental research programs at Brookhaven Lab and elsewhere, and to maintain the expertise and facilities in specialized high technology areas essential for this work. The focus is on three major research areas: radiation detectors (using solid, liquid, or gas media); microelectronics; and laser, optical, and microfabrication applications.
Smith’s major scientific accomplishments include measuring the fundamental limits of gas-filled detectors, which enables researchers using synchrotron light sources like the NSLS to obtain the highest resolution images possible of their samples. He also developed novel cathode-readout principles that minimize the number of readout channels on detectors, thus reducing construction expense while retaining important experimental properties needed in x-ray and neutron detectors, as well as in large particle detectors such as PHENIX at RHIC, and ATLAS at the Large Hadron Collider in Europe. In addition, he has developed complete neutron detector systems that are currently being used in major neutron research facilities in the U.S. and Australia.
Smith earned a B.Sc. in 1970 and Ph.D. in 1974, both in physics, from Durham University, England. Beginning in 1973, he was a research associate at the University of Leicester, England, before joining Brookhaven Lab in 1982 as an associate physicist in the Instrumentation Division. Currently a senior physicist with tenure, Smith received Brookhaven Lab’s Research & Development Award in 1996 and the IEEE’s Long Island Regional Award for Contributions to High Energy Physics in 1998. Smith is a senior member of IEEE and has played major roles in the organization of annual IEEE conferences.