And on July 13, 1978, a Soviet scientist named Anatoli Bugorski stuck his head in a particle accelerator. On that fateful day, Bugorski was checking malfunctioning equipment on the U-70 synchrotron—the largest particle accelerator in the Soviet Union—when a safety mechanism failed and a beam of protons traveling at nearly the speed of light passed straight through his head, Phineas Gage-style. ... Although proton therapy—a cancer treatment that uses proton beams to destroy tumors—was pioneered before Bugorski’s accident, the energy of these beams is generally not above 250 million electron volts (a unit of energy used for small particles). Bugorski might have experienced the full wrath of a beam with more than 300 times this much energy, 76 billion electron volts.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Don't Stick Your Head in a Particle Accelerator
This is what happened to the scientist who stuck his head inside a particle accelerator: