ICTR-PHE Public Talk | Physics is beautiful and useful by Ugo Amaldi | 11 February

In the framework of the International Conference on Translational Research in Radiation Oncology – Physics for Health in Europe (ICTR-PHE, see here), which will take place at the Geneva International Conference Centre from 10 to 14 February 2014, the public is invited to attend an exceptional talk:


Physics is beautiful and useful
by Ugo Amaldi

Tuesday 11 February 2014, 6.30 p.m.
Geneva International Conference Centre
17, rue de Varembé, Geneva

*The talk will be in English with simultaneous translation into French*

Abstract: The year 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of CERN and of the first cancer treatment with protons done at Berkeley. This is no coincidence: indeed, the beauty of particle physics has always gone hand in hand with useful applications.

These “useful” activities follow from the technical developments in particle accelerators and radiation detectors that have brought about the discoveries of neutral currents (1973), of its mediator the Z boson (1984) and of the Higgs condensate (2012).

The beginning of 2014 is thus a good time to describe these “beautiful” physics results, together with their consequences in our description of the events that took place in the first millionth of a second of the Universe. The second part of the lecture will review CERN's contributions to cancer therapy and conclude with an overview of possible future developments.

This lecture is also an opportunity to celebrate the 80th birthday of Ugo Amaldi, who has been a major player in both the beautiful and the useful aspects of physics in his long and outstanding career.

Ugo Amaldi, biography

Ugo Amaldi has been working at CERN since the 70s as Senior Scientist. For twenty years, he has been studying, both experimentally and theoretically, the properties of protons and neutrinos and the unification of fundamental forces. He founded and directed for 13 years the DELPHI Collaboration, at CERN’s LEP Accelerator. Between 1990 and 2006 he was Professor of Medical Physics in Milan. In the last thirty years more than one third of all Italian high school pupils have studied physics on his textbooks.

In 1992, Ugo Amaldi established TERA, the Italian Foundation for Hadrontherapy. He led the design effort of the Italian National Centre of Oncological Hadrontherapy (CNAO), which has been treating patients with protons and carbon ions since 2011. At present, he is working on the development of novel linear accelerator systems for tumour treatment.

Ugo Amaldi is Doctor honoris causa of the Universities of Lyon, Helsinki, Uppsala, Valencia, as well as Distinguished Affiliated Professor at Technische Universität München. Among many other acknowledgements and honours, he was awarded the Gold Medal for science and culture by the Italian President of the Republic, and was appointed Fellow of the European Physics Society.