Positron Imaging Centre

At the University of Birmingham we study flow using positron emitting radioactive tracers. The techniques we use are variants of the medical technique of positron emission tomography (PET), adapted by us for engineering applications.

Our original (now retired) positron camera, consisted of a pair of multiwire proportional chambers (MWPCs), and had been operating since 1984. In 1999 a second, much more powerful positron camera was purchased with funding from the Joint Research Equipment Initiative; this camera is a commercially available gamma camera PET system (ADAC Forte).

Fluid tracers have been used for applications including imaging the lubricant distribution in engines and gearboxes, and dynamic studies of fluid flow through geological samples.

The technique of positron emission particle tracking (PEPT), developed at Birmingham, allows a single positron-emitting tracer particle to be accurately tracked at high speed and has proved to be a very powerful tool for studying the behaviour of granular materials and viscous fluids in systems such as mixers and fluidised beds.

For further information click the links to the left or contact Thomas Leadbeater