The Higgs’ Boson and Cancer Therapy
Professor Steve Myers will talk about our relationship as a civilisation with particle accelerators. Perhaps most often we think of the use of these sophisticated and often enormous machines to provide us with insight as to the dawn of the universe, and indeed this is a very important application for which they are used throughout the world. However, they are also in widespread use for the treatment of cancer, scientific research into the properties of materials and in security.
Today’s particle accelerators and detectors are among the most complicated and expensive scientific instruments ever built by mankind, and they exploit almost every aspect of today’s cutting edge engineering technologies. In many cases accelerator needs have been the driving force behind these new technologies; necessity being the mother of invention. The CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the most recent and most powerful of these devices.
In this lecture an overview is given of some of the engineering requirements for construction of modern day accelerators with particular reference to the LHC. The initial commissioning of the Large Hadron Collider which was immediately followed by a serious technical accident is described as are the steps needed for recovery after the accident. Operation from 2010 until 2012 is briefly documented. This period allowed the increase in performance of the collider to provide sufficient data for the discovery of the Higgs’ boson.
Finally, following a recent initiative, CERN’s technologies, developed for particle physics, are now being applied to medicine. This includes medical imaging and the use of the particle beams for cancer therapy. A description of these technologies and their application to medicine is given.
Luncheon kindly sponsored by La Tour