Comment: Anatoli Bugorski

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Anatoli Bugorski

Particle accelerator accident

As a researcher at the Institute for High Energy Physics in Protvino, Bugorski used to work with the largest Soviet particle accelerator, the U-70 synchrotron.[2] On July 13, 1978, Bugorski was checking a malfunctioning piece of equipment when an accident occurred due to failed safety mechanisms. Bugorski was leaning over the piece of equipment when he stuck his head in the part through which the proton beam was running. Reportedly, he saw a flash "brighter than a thousand suns," but did not feel any pain.[1]
[edit]After the accident

The left half of Bugorski's face swelled up beyond recognition, and over the next several days, started peeling off, revealing the path that the proton beam (moving near the speed of light) had burned through parts of his face, his bone, and the brain tissue underneath. As it was believed that he had received far in excess of the radiation dose that would normally kill a person, Bugorski was taken to a clinic in Moscow where the doctors could observe his expected demise. However, Bugorski survived and even completed his Ph.D. There was virtually no damage to his intellectual capacity, but the fatigue of mental work increased markedly.[2] Bugorski completely lost hearing in the left ear and only a constant, unpleasant internal noise remained. The left half of his face was paralyzed, due to the destruction of nerves.[1] He was able to function well, except for the fact that he had occasional complex partial seizures and rare tonic-clonic seizures.