Antimatter, gamma rays help steer giant cancer-killing machines
(...) Lasers. Another hurdle for hadron therapy is the size and cost of the machines. One way to solve this is by using lasers. IT's something that's being helped by the efforts of the EU-funded LA3NET Initial Training Network, coordinated bhy Professor Carsten Welsch at the University of Liverpool. 'We are training young scientists to interface between laser and particle accelerator technology,' said Prof. Welsch. Collaboration between these fields could prove a game changer in reducing the scale and price of the hadron accelerators.
Luca Stockhausen, a La3NET graduate student at the CLPU Pulsed Lasers Centre in Salamanca, Spain, is developing techniques to thrust beams of hadrons with lasers instead of particle accelerators. His trick is to concentrate the laser over split-second pulses and microscopic spots ona metal surface. 'The result is like taking all the sunlight shining down on earth and briefly focusing it on a pinhead,' said Stockhausen. The beam sublimates the metal, stripping electrons from their atoms and propelling their nuclei at speeds comparable to those of the hadrons used to treat eye tumors today'.