Anatoli Petrovich Bugorski (Russian: Анатолий Петрович Бугорский; born 25 June 1942) is a Russian retired particle physicist. He is known for surviving a radiation accident in 1978, when a high-energy proton beam from a particle accelerator passed through his brain.[1][2]

Anatoli Bugorski
Анатолий Бугорский
Anatoli Petrovich Bugorski

(1942-06-25) 25 June 1942 (age 81)
Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Alma materNational Research Nuclear University MEPhl
Known forSurviving a particle accelerator accident
SpouseVera Nikolaevna
Scientific career
FieldsParticle physics
InstitutionsInstitute for High Energy Physics

Accident edit

As a researcher at the Institute for High Energy Physics in Protvino, Russian SSR, Anatoli Bugorski worked with the largest particle accelerator in the Soviet Union, the U-70 synchrotron.[3] On 13 July 1978, Bugorski was checking a malfunctioning piece of equipment when the safety mechanisms failed. Bugorski was leaning over the equipment when he stuck his head in the path of the 76 GeV proton beam. Reportedly, he saw a flash "brighter than a thousand suns" but did not feel any pain.[1] The beam passed through the back of his head, the occipital and temporal lobes of his brain, the left middle ear, and out through the left hand side of his nose. The exposed parts of his head received a local dose of 200,000 to 300,000 roentgens (2,000 to 3,000 Sieverts).[3] Bugorski understood the severity of what had happened, but continued working on the malfunctioning equipment, and initially opted not to tell anyone what had happened.

Aftermath edit

The left half of Bugorski's face swelled up beyond recognition and, over the next several days, the skin started to peel, revealing the path that the proton beam had burned through parts of his face, his bone, and the brain tissue underneath.[4] As it was believed that he had received far in excess of a fatal dose of radiation, Bugorski was taken to a clinic in Moscow where the doctors could observe his expected demise. However, Bugorski survived, completed his PhD, and continued working as a particle physicist.[5] There was virtually no damage to his intellectual capacity, but the fatigue of mental work increased markedly.[3] Bugorski completely lost hearing in the left ear, replaced by a form of tinnitus.[6] The left half of his face was paralysed due to the destruction of nerves.[1] He was able to function well, except for occasional complex partial seizures and rare tonic-clonic seizures.

Bugorski continued to work as a physicist at the Institute for High Energy Physics and held the post of coordinator of physics experiments.[3][7]

Because of the Soviet Union's policy of maintaining secrecy on nuclear power-related issues, Bugorski did not speak publicly about the accident for over a decade. He continued going to the Moscow radiation clinic twice a year for examinations and to meet with other nuclear accident victims. He was described as "a poster boy for Soviet and Russian radiation medicine".[1]

In 1996, Bugorski applied unsuccessfully for disability status to receive free epilepsy medication. Bugorski showed interest in making himself available for study to Western researchers but could not afford to leave Protvino.[1]

Personal life edit

Bugorski is married to Vera Nikolaevna, and they have a son, Peter.[3]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e Gessen, Masha (1 December 1997). "The Future Ruins of the Nuclear Age". Wired. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
  2. ^ "If You Stuck Your Head in a Particle Accelerator ..." Discover Magazine. Archived from the original on 18 August 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e Дерновой, Геннадий [Dernovoi, Gennady] (23 January 1998). Персональный Чернобыль Анатолия Бугорского [Anatoli Bugorski's Personal Chernobyl]. Izvestiya (in Russian). Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2011 – via Экологическая правда.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  4. ^ Hiskey, Daven (20 August 2013). "What Happens When You Stick Your Head Into a Particle Accelerator". Gizmodo. Archived from the original on 20 August 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Буглай Борис Мартынович Канд. техн. наук ( 153/169 )". (in Russian). Archived from the original on 22 June 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  6. ^ "What Happens If You Stick Your Head in a Particle Accelerator?". Skeptical Science. 15 December 2017. Archived from the original on 12 January 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  7. ^ "A.P. Bugorsky's research while affiliated with Institute for High Energy Physics and other places". ResearchGate.

External links edit