Trans-substantial Catholics

Watch this. What are the priests doing? Catholic Litmus Test If you are Catholic, then I hope for the sake of your soul you said he is welcoming Christ bodily into the world. If you didn’t you aren’t looking too […]

Poor Hanno

According to the pop-psychologist-pseudo-science writer Malcolm Gladwell in his magnum lite-opus, the Tipping Point we as a species need risk takers. Individuals who are willing to put it all on the line in pursuit of a goal will, if they […]

Intelligence and Happiness?

A while ago, the Inquisition pondered the nature of intelligence, and whether a certain outlook or attendant mental abilities are guides to or from happiness. This has been obliquely in the news of late…

Buried by the Sea

Its odd. Most graveyards in Connemara appear to be near water, if not actually right on the coast. Why? West Galway, or Connemara, has a lot of unused space. Admittedly, much of the land Connemara is industrially and agriculturally useless, […]

Cycling Two Abreast

Cycling two abreast in Ireland is legal, a protected practice, and it is safer.

Indoors / Outdoors (Defuse)

A talk given by The Inquisition at Defuse, on Wednesday 7th November 2012, as part of Designweek in Dublin, Ireland

Nürnburg’s Extra Bombs

Nürnburg got ripped to shreds by Bomber Harris’ boys. By how much appears to be open to debate.

Law & Morality

The preface to HLA Hart’s publication of his 1961 lecture series on the meeting of law and morality is as prevalent today as it ever was.

Foy – The Bodiless Head

A bodiless head is revered as being Saint Foy, who died a cruel death.

Coffee Haters

There are people out there who pretend to like coffee. Coffee Haters – you have been warned.

False Flags 2

False flag, covert ops by Americans against Americans? Sounds crazy, and so it was deemed.

Plastic 55 Years Ago

55 years ago Roland Barthes considered the importance of plastic and what it meant, as a substance and a symbol.

Cesare Borgia’s Party

The Pope, his son and fifty prostitutes – Cesare Borgia’s party.

Marriage – A Potted History

Marriage is thought by many to be a fixed rite, one which is immovable and inflexible. The truth is that it has not always seemed so…

Blinking Morse

The world was shocked when a victim of torture started blinking morse. The story of a US aviator captured in Vietnam.


Synecdoche is a powerful, expressive linguistic device

The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Contents Page
The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Semper Quarens - Always Looking

Proton Man

The Inquisition is a little late to the Anatoli Bugorski party, especially in the light of recent evnts at CERN, which initiated a veritable Bugorski revival. Anyway, you’ve already read this much so we might as well tell you about him.

Simply put, Anatoli Bugorski is a Russian scientist who had an accident and is extremely lucky to remain referable to in the present tense.

What Happened?

In 1978 he was working towards a PhD as an assistant at the Institute for High Energy Physics in Protvino, 100km south of Moscow. He was working with a major piece of kit – the largest Soviet particle accelerator, the U-70 synchrotron. A dream job for a young physicist.

On July 13 the system started to malfunction. Bugorski found the problem and was leaning down to fix it when he got blasted through the head by a proton beam.


Proton beams were, for a while, used to treat cancer but these were quite a bit wekaer. This beam’s strength measured 2k gray on entry and 3k on exit (see below). Bugorski reported a flash brighter than “a thousand suns”. Presumably, this is the term Russian scientists use to describe “very bright”.

Anyway, as far as Bugorski was concerned, the party was over and the hangover was coming. As you might expect his face swelled up and the skin began to peel, tracing the beam’s path through his skull. As seen in the image above the exit is clearly visible.

Moscow’s well-known philanthropic streak went into overdrive and he was carted to hospital so doctors could observe his death. After all, a proton beam, travelling just below the speed of light, had just gone right through Bugorski’s head, including his brain, so why not watch closely?


Anyway, Anatoli decided not to play ball and got better instead, even completing his PhD. His mental capacity was retained but he did suffer other consequences – periodic seizures, loss of hearing in his left ear, facial nerve paralysis and reduced threshold before experiencing mental fatigue.

Bugorski went on to hold positions of scientific authority, visiting radiation specialist twice-yearly for monitoring. He was a popular figure in promoting the obvious safety of Soviet atomic power. Not that he ever said much about his experience at the time – he was too scared of the repressive regime.

Bugorski now lives in relative poverty with his wife and son in Protvino.

Notes on Gray

The gray is the unit measurement of absorbed radiation dose of ionizing radiation and is used to measure X-rays, for instance. Whole body exposure of 5 gray is usually to be fatal. Bear in mind Bugorski’s single blast was between 2 and 3 THOUSAND gray.

A Synchrotron?

What the hell is that? The Inquisition will let Wikipedia take the heat on this one; “A synchrotron is a particular type of cyclic particle accelerator in which the magnetic field (to turn the particles so they circulate) and the electric field (to accelerate the particles) are carefully synchronized with the travelling particle beam.”

Which, to a scientific troglodyte like the Inquisition, begs the question – what is a particle accelerator? Once again, Wikipedia; “A particle accelerator is a device that uses electric fields to propel charged particles to high speeds and to contain them in well-defined beams. An ordinary CRT television set is a simple form of accelerator.”

The difference is that synchrotrons are massive – just look at the pictures below. Now imagine one of those blasting through your head.

Generic synchrotron plan

French synchrotron - Soleil

The complex interior of an Australian synchrotron

The Future Ruins of the Nuclear Age – Wired Magazine
Kottke covered this with great brevity, as is his wont. Quite unlike the Inquisition’s extended verbiage.
More of the same from SonicBomb
Leaving no stone unturned in its search for references, the Inquisition presents to you yet more of the exact same

This article was posted by on Friday, April 16th, 2010 at 21:06.
It is archived in Science and tagged , , , , , , .

One Response to Proton Man

  1. Hey! Seen this? The scientists at CERN asked what would happen if you put your hand in the large Hadron Collider -

Rummage Through Inquisition's Archives

The Index