Saturday the 4th of March
Proton-CT - a novel diagnostic tool for particle therapy
By Dieter Röhrich
Professor of Nuclear Physics, IFT
In the recent decades there has been a worldwide increase in the number of cancer patients treated with proton and carbon radiation therapy. Particle therapy as of today is based on pre-calculated dose plans for each patient. The applied dose plans are created from X-ray computed tomography (CT) images. However, even the best CT does not allow a sufficiently precise prediction of the ion beam range. In order to exploit the full potential of particle therapy, the Bragg peak has to be located inside the tumor with a submilimeter precision. The proposed novel clinical proton-CT will provide such a precise range estimate online. The pCT-prototype combines a tracker and a calorimeter in a single compact device simultaneously performing tracking, particle identification and energy/range measurements. Because of the extremely high granularity, the device will be able to cope with a large amount of particles, thus providing a breakthrough in rate capabilities.
Biological modelling in proton therapy using Monte Carlo simulations
By Lars Fredrik Fjæra
Researcher in Medical Physics, IFT
Each year, 30 000 people are diagnosed with cancer in Norway, and approximately 50% of these receive radiation therapy (RT) in the form of photons. The goal of RT is to irradiate the tumour with the prescribed dose and at the same time minimize the dose to healthy tissue. RT using protons has emerged as a promising alternative to photon therapy for many patient groups, especially paediatric patients, due to its greater ability to spare healthy tissue. Proton therapy is currently still not available in Norway; however, the goal is to open 1-2 proton centres by the year 2022.
Protons are slightly more effective at killing cells than photons. This increase in biological effect is, to date, clinically set constant at all locations within the patient. We do, however, know that the biological effect from protons varies with dose, dose rate, cell type, the amount of oxygen in cells, and ionisation density. In our group, we investigate this potential variation in biological effects from protons, using Monte Carlo (MC) simulations. We are evaluating different biological models for protons and are performing MC calculations on patients. Furthermore, we are using MC to investigate biological effects on cells.
Sunday the 5th of March
The Quest for New Particles – Theory
By Jörn Kersten
Professor of Theoretical Particle Physics, IFT
I will give an overview of our current knowledge of elementary particles, their interactions, and how they obtain masses via the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism, as described by the Standard Model of particle physics. Afterwards, I will discuss why we expect the existence of additional particles that have not been discovered yet. In particular, I will describe the evidence for Dark Matter that is made of such new particles. Finally, I will introduce supersymmetry as an example of a theoretical framework for physics beyond the Standard Model.
The Quest for New Particles – Experiments
By Bertrand Martin dit Latour
Researcher in Particle Physics, IFT
How did we discover the Higgs boson? How do we search for unknown phenomena such as Supersymmetry or Dark Matter? A detector weighting 7000 tonnes, with 100 million electronic channels, recording hundreds of petabytes of data processed by 300000 CPU cores, this is what is takes to probe elementary particles and their interactions with a proton collider these days.
This talk will review the main experimental techniques in high-energy particle physics, with an emphasis on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, at CERN.