The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre


Quantum collisions in cancer therapy through to supernovas

The applicants have developed a world-leading theory for calculating collisions between particles on the atomic scale. Presently, one exciting application is in the field of hadron therapy. This requires the calculation of the stopping power of heavy ions traveling in soft tissue, well-modeled by water molecules. The collision processes such as ion-impact excitation, ionization and charge-exchange need to be calculated accurately to ensure well-targeted ion-beams destroy cancerous cells only, leaving healthy tissue with minimal damage. Coincidentally, charge-exchange processes are also currently topical in X-ray spectroscopy with the upcoming launch of the Astro-H satellite. Here, high-energy events in space result in highly charged ions interacting with interstellar media via charge-exchange. Such collisions are very complicated and computationally expensive. This project will be devoted to yielding  quantum collision data at the required accuracy for a broad range of applications.

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