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Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

What Happens When You Put Your Head in a Proton Beam?

By October 25, 2008

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Surprisingly (at least to me), you may not die. I recently ran across an article about Anatoli Bugorski's firsthand experience with a proton beam, written up in Wired several years ago. This year's startup of CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) prompted questions about what would happen if you stuck your hand in particle beam (or your face). Anatoli put his head in the path of a particle beam coming from an accelerator that he believed was shut down. He supposedly saw a blindingly bright flash, yet felt no pain. The left side of his face swelled up. He was taken to a hospital so that researchers could care for him and also record the manner of his death... except he didn't die. His skin peeled away and tissue irradiated by the beam died. Though the left side of his face was paralyzed and he suffered permanent neurological damage, Anatoli retained most normal human functioning. He suffered seizures, but he was able to maintain a career in science. Obviously getting nuked by a particle acclerator is a bad plan (and wouldn't happen at the LHC because I believe the beam is in a vacuum). Were you amazed such an encounter might be survivable?

Comments

October 27, 2008 at 11:19 am
(1) Marguerite says:

Hello Anne-Marie
What were the temp and pressure when the experiment was conducted on Mars?

April 10, 2009 at 7:16 pm
(2) Ed Maxey says:

Please tell me what “g” in this equation
stands for.

sunlight + 6CO2(g) + H2O(l) = C6H12O6(aq) + 6O2(g)

Thanks,

E. Stanton Maxey, M.D.

July 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm
(3) oldspammer says:

E. Stanton Maxey, MD–In the equation the parenthetical items are the material states of the compounds of the equation.

g=gas,
l=liquid,
aq=aqueous solution.

By looking at the compounds, assuming room temperature, the meanings of the parenthetical items becomes obvious–O2 is oxygen, a gas; CO2 is carbon dioxide–a greenhouse gas; H2O is water–a liquid.

The proton stream, a form of ionizing particle radiation, could have been at any number of power intensities. Obviously, if the power level had been tremendous, the guy would have died very quickly. If the duration of the exposure was longer, then the guy would have died quickly.

Has the guy tried LED therapy, or cellular proliferation induction (cpi) via pulsed electro-magnetic fields (PEMF)? See cpi cellular proliferation induction Arizona See also Sota Instruments MP5 or Lightworks

Have there been signs of cancer as a result of exposure?

If tissue damage resulted, the dead tissue should be naturally removed to make way for any repaired tissues to replace it. This natural removal is apparently done via spare digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas, and can also be supplemented by stronger enzymes such as serratiapeptase / serratia peptidase / serratio peptidase / serrapeptidase, another proteolytic enzyme but isolated from another animal. If this does not happen, a pathogen may feed on the dead tissue causing subsequent disease(s).

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