F#&king Particle Accelerators, How Do They Work?

You’ve probably heard some vague information about Particle Accelerators. You’ve probably heard that they smash atoms together and make science happen, but have you ever wondered how exactly they accelerator particles to near light speed?  With the video above, you can have the process demonstrated to you step-by-step by a very intelligent sounding man.  And in case the video doesn’t make it clear, that giant magnetic ring is massive.  Or maybe just large, seeing as they called it the Large Hadron Collider (pictured below).  The diameter of the larger circle is 17 miles.

Still curious about these atom obliterating magneto-donuts?  Perhaps wondering just what would happen were a person to come into contact with one of these high energy particle beams?  Well, as it turns out, there is one man who could answer that question: Anatoli Bugorski.

This unlucky Russian scientist had what could be called one of the worst days in history when he went to fix some malfunctioning equipment in the Soviet Particle Accelerator, also known as the U-70 Synchrotron (which I think is a way cooler name than Large Hadron Collider).  Apparently all of the built in safety mechanisms were malfunction as well, because when Anatoli stuck his head into the part of the accelerator where particles are moved to a faster part of the contraption, he got blasted by a beam of super fast protons.  He reported feeling no pain, but did see a flash ‘brighter than a thousand suns’.  Anatoli was incredibly lucky to survive the 200,000 Rads of radiation that pulsed through his skull (500-600 is supposed to be lethal).  His health problems were many, but surprisingly minimal considering he was struck by particles moving near the speed of light.  Immediately after the accident the left side of his face swelled up considerably.  That side also hasn’t aged since the accident after becoming paralyzed from nerve damage.  He also lost hearing in his left ear, becomes much more fatigued by mental work, and now suffers from a rare type of seizure.  He is still alive to this day and lives with his wife and son.

The accident never game Anatoli Bugorski the super powers he needed to become Proto-Man, smasher of atoms.


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