Wenn wir wissen wollen, wie etwas funktioniert, dann neigen wir Menschen dazu es uns mal ganz genau angucken zu wollen. Zur Not stecken wir halt den Kopf tief rein, um einen Blick drauf werfen zu können.
Dass dabei etwas passieren kann, ist zwar schon seit den Dinos bekannt, hindert aber eigentlich niemanden wirklich.
Aber was kann denn nun passieren? Da sich Menschenversuche aus moralischen Gründen nicht anbieten, sind wir auf Unfälle angewiesen und da gibt es bislang nur einen.
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. It’s possible that, at that point in history, no other human being had ever experienced a focused beam of radiation at such high energy.
According to an interview in Wired magazine in 1997, Bugorski immediately saw an intense flash of light but felt no pain. The young scientist was taken to a clinic in Moscow with half his face swollen, and doctors expected the worst.
For Bugorski, particularly vulnerable tissues, such as bone marrow and the gastrointestinal track, might have been largely spared. But where the beam shot through Bugorski’s head, it deposited an obscene amount of radiation energy, hundreds of times greater than a lethal dose by some estimates.
And yet, Bugorski is still alive today. Half his face is paralyzed, giving one hemisphere of his head a strangely young appearance. He is reported to be deaf in one ear. He suffered at least six generalized tonic-clonic seizures.
Despite having nothing less than a particle accelerator beam pass through his brain, Bugorski’s intellect remained intact, and he successfully completed his doctorate after the accident. Bugorski survived his accident. And as frightening and awesome as the inside of a particle accelerator might be, humanity has thus far survived the nuclear age.
Moment mal, Teilchenbeschleuniger? WIe baut man sowas denn eigentlich? Gut, dass ihr fragt.
Dr Suzie Sheehy designs particle accelerators. In this animation she leads us through the world of accelerators. They all share the same basic ingredients of an accelerator: particles, energy, control, collision and detection, and typically fall into three categories: linear, cyclotron and synchrotron.
Das Titelbild basiert auf einem Foto von Glen Noble. Lizenz: CC0 1.0. Danke!