Person in cleanroom outfit working on a string of superconducting cavities

A beam of particles is a very useful tool. It can diagnose a disease, destroy a tumor, improve a chip, clean up dirty drinking water, scan containers for suspicious content and do much more. In this video, Fermilab’s Sam Posen talks about accelerator research at Fermilab, a world leader in particle accelerator science and technology.

“What is the practical application of your research?” This question is frequently asked of particle physicists. In this talk, Fermilab scientist Jennifer Raaf presents a few practical medical applications that have been enabled by fundamental scientific research undertaken by Fermilab employees. In particular, the talk focuses on a novel ventilator called the Mechanical Ventilator Milano, which was developed for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The new technology is a miniaturized version of a sensor developed for the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. But instead of being used for discovery science, the sensors are developed to screen cargo by detecting muons, particles that penetrate materials such as concrete and lead. Scientists at Fermilab, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Nevada National Security Site designed, assembled and tested the small, slim sensors, which could replace bulkier screening technologies.

A bright idea

Can a biochemistry technique win the battle against background for scientists studying the nature of neutrinos?