• Question: How is your work going to benefit the future?

    Asked by stephenhawkingthesecond to Philip, Arttu, Ceri, James_M, Monica on 16 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by abdul, tajah, sara97, flower123, saraw1998, xgopi, bassmaa123, minah, katelyn, catherineeqi, focolate, rsharma, eriineriin, drjohnson, zohal, yusuf1234567890, reporter911, vithushan04.
    • Photo: Arttu Rajantie

      Arttu Rajantie answered on 16 Jun 2011:

      My work does not have any direct practical applications. The main benefit is that we will understand better the universe we live in.

    • Photo: Ceri Brenner

      Ceri Brenner answered on 16 Jun 2011:

      There are two ways that my research area (laser plasmas) will benefit the future i think:
      1) By understanding the laser plasma interaction we can use this to achieve fusion reactions. Releasing heat energy through lots of fusion reactions will provide a safe, stable and abundant energy source for power stations and therefore in the long run we should be able to replace fossil fuel and nuclear power stations with fusion power stations
      2) Radiobiologists have told us that using a proton beam to treat cancer tumours is WAY more effective than using conventional gamma ray therapy. However, current proton beam accelerators that use giant magnets are large, expensive and require a lot of shielding walls. If we can work out how to build a laser plasma proton accelerator, then we can potentially provide the radiobiologists with compact, flexible and affordable proton beam sources that they can easily use for their treatment of cancer tumours.
      These two applications of my work are basically the reasons why i’m doing research, i want to figure out the answers so that we can have really good solutions to world problems.