He was shot in the head with a high-energy particle beam and was exposed to 400 times the lethal dose of radiation, but he survived and got a PhD

In 1978, in the city of Plotvino, 100 km south of Moscow, there was the most powerful particle gas pedal in the world at that time, code-named “U-70”.

On July 13, the scientific instrument had a small malfunction, so the institute decided to send Pugorsky (36 years old at the time) to check the situation, but no one expected that a few minutes later, a high-energy proton beam with 200,000 rads of radiation was about to penetrate his skull (in theory, 200,000 rads of radiation is enough to kill a person 400 times).

He was shot in the head with a high-energy particle beam and was exposed to 400 times the lethal dose of radiation, but he survived and got a PhD

Photo of Pugorsky in his old age
The U-70 particle gas pedal, built in 1967 in the former Soviet Union, is a synchrotron with an orbital circumference of nearly 1.5 kilometers (note: many articles misspell 1.5 in diameter), and it can accelerate protons to 99.9926% of the speed of light.

He was shot in the head with a high-energy particle beam and was exposed to 400 times the lethal dose of radiation, but he survived and got a PhD

U-70 accelerator Interior of the building
In those days, such a synchrocyclotron was among the top scientific instruments, and its principle was similar to that of the cyclotron taught in secondary school textbooks: a magnetic field was used to control the steering of charged particles, which were then accelerated using the electric field.

He was shot in the head with a high-energy particle beam and was exposed to 400 times the lethal dose of radiation, but he survived and got a PhD

However, since special relativity tells us that the mass increases with the speed, which affects the rotation period of the particle, the ordinary cyclotron cannot bring the particle to a very high speed.

Later, after a theoretical breakthrough, scientists began to build accelerators after the 1950s that could synchronize the electric or magnetic fields with the speed of the particles at all times, thus obtaining a great speed increase, and the U-70 is one of the best.

He was shot in the head with a high-energy particle beam and was exposed to 400 times the lethal dose of radiation, but he survived and got a PhD

But then, once the instrument is sophisticated and complex, it is natural to avoid malfunction.

The accident happened

On July 13, 1978, the console staff discovered that there was a problem with the gas pedal, but because of the special nature of an instrument like the gas pedal, it was not possible for us to simply press a switch like a computer reboot, because it took half a month to start the gas pedal to warm up and shut down to cool it down.

He was shot in the head with a high-energy particle beam and was exposed to 400 times the lethal dose of radiation, but he survived and got a PhD

Schematic of U-70
So in this case, the researchers usually turned the particle beam (proton beam) to interrupt the circular motion before sending someone into the tube to look at the repair, and it was Pugowski who was sent to look at it.

Pugorsky estimated the time and thought he could reach the failure area in five minutes and told the console this time so they could be ready.

He was shot in the head with a high-energy particle beam and was exposed to 400 times the lethal dose of radiation, but he survived and got a PhD

But in fact, Pugorsky arrived early, thinking the console had broken the proton beam (which it hadn’t), and opened the duct protection door, but at this point his body hadn’t gone inside.

Normally in such a situation, the security alarm would have gone off, but who knows, the security system was also out of order that day, so Pugorsky entered the interior of the gas pedal unnoticed in this way.

So a powerful proton beam immediately rushed at him, shot in from the left back of his skull and out on the left side of his nose, and just like that, he was burst in the head by the proton beam.

He was shot in the head with a high-energy particle beam and was exposed to 400 times the lethal dose of radiation, but he survived and got a PhD

But here we have to add a quotation mark, because Pugorsky did not die on the spot, according to his own recollection afterwards: in fact, there was not even pain at that time, but only a burst of extremely blinding light in front of his eyes, as if the brightness of a thousand suns.

In fact, we now know that the light was not what the eyes saw, but an illusion caused by the stimulation of nerves when the proton beam penetrated from the brain. In fact, at an earlier time, the scientific community had a “native method” to determine whether a particle beam was produced and running. Flashing bright spots. Of course, this native method can only be used in early particle research experiments, because at that time the particle speed is generally low, radiation damage is very small.

He was shot in the head with a high-energy particle beam and was exposed to 400 times the lethal dose of radiation, but he survived and got a PhD

Although Pugorsky did not appear any abnormalities at that time, but as a scientific researcher, he himself knew that such strong radiation would certainly symptoms, and as expected, that night, the left side of his face began to swell up, so the next day was sent to Moscow for treatment, to be honest, the doctor then thought that he must die, because that proton beam carried a full 200,000 rads of radiation, and for a normal For a normal adult, 500 rads is enough to die (in the range of 400-600, here we take 500).

He was shot in the head with a high-energy particle beam and was exposed to 400 times the lethal dose of radiation, but he survived and got a PhD

However, by a miracle, Pugorsky did not experience the usual symptoms of radiation sickness during his hospitalization, except for the initial skin ulceration and hair loss at the injury site, hearing impairment in the left ear, and loss of consciousness in the left side of the face (facial palsy, no muscle expressions).

Even after a period of recovery, there were no other abnormalities except for facial paralysis of the left side of the face and poor hearing in the left ear. (Occasional epilepsy did occur in later years, but that was the extent of it.

Why did Pugorsky not die?

It was later judged that theoretically such a powerful amount of ionizing radiation was absolutely lethal, but because the proton beam was too concentrated in its trajectory and left only a linear damaged area when it penetrated the brain, the protons also barely stayed in the brain and most of the energy was taken away intact, so he actually damaged very few tissue cells.

Compared to people who are normally subjected to intense ionizing radiation, such as the group of people affected by the atomic bombing in Japan back then, they were penetrated by gamma radiation as well as neutron radiation almost all over their bodies, thus the mortality rate was extremely high, and those who survived were suffering from subsequent diseases.

He was shot in the head with a high-energy particle beam and was exposed to 400 times the lethal dose of radiation, but he survived and got a PhD

And Pugorsky was hit by a proton beam, actually similar to alpha rays, the latter is a helium nucleus, two protons and two neutrons composition, is also positively charged, although ionization ability is strong, but the penetration is very weak, even only by human skin can block.

He was shot in the head with a high-energy particle beam and was exposed to 400 times the lethal dose of radiation, but he survived and got a PhD

But the gas pedal to the proton beam plus the speed buff, the speed is forced to the speed of light, so there is through the skull, and also because the proton beam is a strong focus form, thus leaving a very narrow trace on the skull, otherwise if the brain in the internal blossom around, then there is no salvation.

What happened to Pugorsky?

Because of the Soviet Union’s secrecy policy at the time, Pugorsky was not actually known to the outside world until after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and he himself returned to work after his hospital treatment, yes, at the U-70 gas pedal.

Two years later, in 1980, he also successfully received his doctorate, so his intelligence was not affected in any way.

The only inconvenience, however, was that he could only wrinkle up half of his forehead when he was fully concentrated (but also because the left half of his face could not make any expression for a long time, even the wrinkles were much less than on the right half).

He was shot in the head with a high-energy particle beam and was exposed to 400 times the lethal dose of radiation, but he survived and got a PhD

Oh, by the way, he is 79 years old and alive.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/he-was-shot-in-the-head-with-a-high-energy-particle-beam-and-was-exposed-to-400-times-the-lethal-dose-of-radiation-but-he-survived-and-got-a-phd/
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