30km of copper wire at -269 degree C

cyclotron image from The Christie
One of the most advanced pieces of equipment for the UK’s first NHS high energy proton beam therapy (PBT) centre has been built for the specialist cancer hospital The Christie in Manchester

The proton beam is accelerated by a cyclotron, no bigger than a family car.  The cyclotron needs to be very cold and uses superconducting magnets cooled by liquid helium -2690C and coils of copper wire 30km (almost 19 miles) long.

This 90 ton cyclotron is capable of accelerating a proton stream made up of ionized hydrogen gas to two-thirds the speed of light (over100,000 miles per second). That’s fast enough to travel around the world at the equator in about a quarter of a second, and fast enough to hit the moon in a little under two seconds.

Proton beam therapy is a specialist form of radiotherapy that targets certain cancers very precisely, increasing success rates and reducing side-effects. It targets tumours with less damage to surrounding healthy tissue and is particularly appropriate for certain cancers in children who are at risk of lasting damage to organs that are still growing.

Full story from ITV News:

State of the art cyclotron built for The Christie

Image: The Christie

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