Thursday, May 24, 2007

Laser-generated radiation for cancer therapy?

Will laser-generated radiation one day prove useful in cancer therapy? A UK collaboration aims to find out. Reported from

A consortium of UK-based scientists has secured £5 million ($9.9 million) in research funding to turn the concept of laser-generated radiation into a robust, ready-to-go technology. The four-year project, involving researchers from nine separate institutions, could lead to cheaper, simpler solutions for proton and ion radiotherapy. Laser-energized radiation sources could also cut the cost of research into cosmic-radiation exposure from frequent air travel and manned space missions.

The project named LIBRA, which means Laser Induced Beams of Radiation and their Applications. Development of the technology will require access to a very high-powered laser with a rapid-fire repetition rate. One such system is the GEMINI laser, due to come on-line at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) near Oxford, UK, later this year. GEMINI is expected to deliver 1 PW (10^15 W) pulses every 20 seconds.

related links: LIBRA, GEMINI

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