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Q: What medical technologies (e.g., PET) rely on the physics of elementary particles?
A: In elementary-particle physics as in most fields of science, advances in understanding are closely coupled to advances in technology. [ Many technical obstacles exist in the search for fundamental physics, and much of the creative effort of elementary-particle physicists, both experimental and theoretical, is devoted to overcoming these obstacles: Higher-energy accelerators are needed to cross
thresholds for suspected new phenomena, and machines of higher luminosity open opportunities for the observation of rare and unexpected processes. Advances in accelerator technology must be accompanied by advances in detector technology as more complicated particle collisions are produced. Further advances in computing technology are necessary both to enable the processing of complex data samples and to allow comparison between various theoretical models and experimental results. Experimenters have often made great advances when they have been able to borrow a technology developed for other uses and modify it to allow advances in particle physics. Similarly, a technology has often been developed specifically to address the needs of the elementary-particle physics community but then has been adapted to meet the needs of society outside particle physics. Although it is often evident where the technical barriers in elementary-particle physics (EPP) reside, it is much more difficult to predict where the breakthroughs will be and how they will come about. Experience has shown, however, that innovative new technologies or innovative uses for existing technologies will find surprising applications beyond those originally conceived by the developers. ]
Expert answered|altheacool|Points 15|
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Asked 10/2/2012 7:07:18 PM
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