What happens when you stick your head in an accelerator

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chelle
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What happens when you stick your head in an accelerator

Post by chelle » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:32 am

Check this out:
What happens when you stick your head in a particle accelerator

Here's the fascinating story of Anatoli Petrovich Bugorski, the only person to have stuck his head into a particle accelerator. His head accidentally strayed into the path of the proton beam at the Institute for High Energy Physics in Protvino in 1978, and the beam bored a hole through his brain and out his nose. The radiation absorbed by his head was in the region of 1000 gray. 5 gray worth of X-rays is generally considered fatal, but Bugorski survived and went on to complete his PhD (a proton beam moving near the speed of light has different characteristics from an X-ray!). The side of his face that was burned by the beam's exit has not visibly aged in the years since the accident. http://www.boingboing.net/2011/02/22/wh ... -yo-6.html

Image
This YouTube clip is an interesting addition: Putting your hand in the Large Hadron Collider...
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Kasuha
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Re: What happens when you stick your head in an accelerator

Post by Kasuha » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:32 pm

Slightly less dangerous than getting shot into the head, I'd say.

About the youtube clip - it's funny how they spend four minutes without really giving a conclusion. I'd say:
- based on SPS accident which happened during tests with LHC ultimate energy beam at 450 GeV
- based on calculations made for the beam dump
- assuming that:
-- you'd bypass all security mechanisms that would cause immediate beam dump based on detecting your presence in the area
-- you'd not compromise the vaccum in the pipe by putting your hand in the beam
-- you'd not trigger beam dump by secondary particle showers originated in collisions of the beam with your hand
-- you'd move your hand all the way through the beam trajectory
... that it would cut your hand off like a laser cutter and there would still be some beam energy left.
After that you'd probably die due to exposure to radiation, not that which hit your hand, rather from the aftermath of mentioned secondary showers and synchrotron radiation.

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chelle
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Re: What happens when you stick your head in an accelerator

Post by chelle » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:10 pm

Kasuha wrote:... it would cut your hand off like a laser cutter and there would still be some beam energy left.
Perhaps it would generate a tiny black-hole that would take at first your finger, next the whole hand, and before you know it you've been sucked in ... ending up on some planet as the long expected king of a future predicting Mayan civilization, a bit like in this KIA Superbowl 2011 commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLGj6iSZvak

On a serious note, it shows how much force and energy is going on at LHC while some like to refer to a mosquito in flight.
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BenM
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Re: What happens when you stick your head in an accelerator

Post by BenM » Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:16 am

On a serious note, it shows how much force and energy is going on at LHC while some like to refer to a mosquito in flight.
The mosquito thing is right..... for individual protons. There are quite a few (British understatement there!) protons in a bunch and quite a few bunches in each ring.

One thing to think about is that if the energy stored in the beam is so mosquito-like why are the beam dump systems so huge?

I wouldn't want to put parts of me anywhere near the beam, let alone in its path. In fact I am very comfortable with the fact it is safely 100m underground and quite a long way from here :D

B.

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chelle
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Re: What happens when you stick your head in an accelerator

Post by chelle » Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:24 am

BenM wrote:One thing to think about is that if the energy stored in the beam is so mosquito-like why are the beam dump systems so huge?
It's all about The Force Master Ben:

There is a "conservation of energy" law. There is no "conservation of force". In order to lift an object with weight 1 Newton a height of 1 meter, I MUST do 1Newton* 1 meter= 1 Joule of work. But if I use an inclined plane instead of lifting it straight up, I can reduce the force necessary.
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MnonoaN
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Re: What happens when you stick your head in an accelerator

Post by MnonoaN » Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:54 am

I can reduce the force necessary.
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