NSE - Nuclear Science & Engineering at MIT


Areg Danagoulian

Areg Danagoulian

Associate Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering


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Areg Danagoulian is an associate professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT. He received his S.B. degree in physics from MIT. He did his PhD research in Experimental Nuclear Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His PhD thesis focused on experiments which used real Compton scattering on the proton at 2-6 GeV, allowing to probe the proton's internal structure and how it couples to external excitations. After his PhD Areg worked at Los Alamos as a postdoctoral researcher, and then as a senior scientist at Passport Systems, Inc (PSI). At PSI Areg focused on the development of Prompt Neutron from Photofission (PNPF) technique, which allows to rapidly detect shielded fissionable materials in the commercial cargo traffic. Areg’s research focuses on leveraging nuclear physics to mitigate the dangers of nuclear materials and weapons. He is currently working on new, monochromatic methodologies for cargo screening as well as technologies for treaty verification via resonant phenomena and physical cryptography.

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  • Arms Control Persons of the Year, ACA, 2019
  • Radiation Science and Technology Award, ANS, 2019
  • Teaching with Digital Technology Award Nomination, MIT, 2016
  • IEEE/NPSS Radiation Instrumentation Early Career Award, 2015
  • Award for Superior Performance in Support of the DNDO Mission (issued to the SNAR team, PSI), 2012


  1. Verification of nuclear disarmament treaties via resonant phenomena and physical cryptography.
  2. Multiple Monoenergetic Gamma Radiography and other methodologies for cargo screening


“Photon Induced Neutron Time Correlations in Special Nuclear Materials”, Passport Systems Inc., Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. LLNL Record of Invention (ROI) #: IL-12894


Selected Publications

  1. E. M. Engel*, A. Danagoulian, “A physically cryptographic warhead verification system using neutron induced nuclear resonances,” Nature Communications, vol. 10 (2019) 1, (arXiv:1907.06978)
  2. Jayson R Vavrek*, Brian S Henderson*, Areg Danagoulian, “Experimental demonstration of an isotope-sensitive warhead verification technique using nuclear resonance fluorescence,” Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, vol. 115 (2018) 17, (arXiv:1712.02904)
  3. Brian S. Henderson*, Hin Y. Lee*, Thomas D. MacDonald*, Roberts G. Nelson*, Areg Danagoulian, “Experimental Demonstration of Multiple Monoenergetic Gamma Radiography for Effective Atomic Number Identification in Cargo Inspection,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 123 (2018) 17,(arXiv:1802.04225)
  4. J. Hecla*, A. Danagoulian, “Nuclear Disarmament Verification via Resonant Phenomena,” vol. 9 (2018) 1, p.1259, (arXiv:1709.09736)
  5. R.S. Kemp, A. Danagoulian, R.R. Macdonald, J.R. Vavrek*, “Physical Cryptographic Verification of Nuclear Warheads,” Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, vol. 113 (2016) 31, all authors contributed equally to this publication
  6. B.E. O’Day III*, Z.S. Hartwig*, R.C. Lanza, A. Danagoulian, “Initial Results from a Multiple Monoenergetic Gamma Radiography System for Nuclear Security,” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A, vol. 832 (2016) pp. 68–76
  7. A. Danagoulian et al.,“Compton Scattering Cross Section on the Proton at High Momentum Transfer”, Physical Review Letters, Vol. 98, 152001 (2007)
  8. R. Hasty et al.,“Strange Magnetism and the Anapole Structure of the Proton," Science Vol. 290, (2000), pp 2117–2119


22.09 Principles of Nuclear Radiation Measurement & Protection

22.12 Radiation Interactions, Control, and Measurement