June 2014 Technical Society News

02 Jun

On June 2, 2014 Niek Schreuder, Chief Medical Physicist for Proton Therapy, explained the differences between standard (x-ray) radiation treatment and proton therapy. As a result of protons’ dose-distribution characteristics, the radiation oncologist can increase the dose to a tumor while reducing the dose to surrounding normal tissues.
 Proton therapy is expensive and insurance companies are reluctant to pay for it even though it is the superior treatment in many cases.

For the June 9 meeting Ken Barry, S&ME, described a number of tools and strategies for reducing runoff of suspended particles- primarily during construction.

On June 16 UT Professor Dr. Devon Burr described Titan – the only natural satellite known to have a dense atmosphere and the only object other than Earth for which clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found. Titan sounds like an interesting place to visit but not a good place to live.

A team from UT described their work in building an advanced vehicle as part of a three-year competition at the June 23 meeting. The competition gives engineering students (and other students) the chance to design and build an advanced vehicle that demonstrate leading-edge automotive technologies with the goal of minimizing the environmental impact. The UT team placed low because of a mechanical failure ( a chain broke) but they had a very good design and good workmanship and they will begin participating in the next competition.

On June 30 Stefan Spanier, who leads UT’s CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) work described his work in seeking the Higgs boson.The High Energy Physics group at the University of Tennessee has been a part of the international collaboration that built and maintains the Large Hadron Collider’s Compact Muon Solenoid detector, or CMS.

The Large Hadron Collider is an underground, 17-mile ring that straddles the French-Swiss border. Protons collide head-on surrounded by layers of particle detectors. The results of these collisions can be new particles or other phenomena. The CMS detector can observe these remnants and track their signatures. Dr. Spanier told us a lot about high energy physics which we all now understand?


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