Precision measurements of radiation will be the key to pinpointing breast cancers smaller than a grain of sand and discovering what lies in the space between galaxies, an international conference will discover today (see note).
The unique gathering of scientists and engineers at University College London will also hear the answer to the haunting question - can silicon chips "come back from the dead?"
The 5th International Conference on Position Sensitive Detectors has attracted 200 delegates to report on new techniques and applications in this diverse and challenging area. The participants - comprising users, service providers, physicists and astronomers - have invented detectors that are now used in a wide variety of applications, from the study of protein structure to airport security cameras.
Despite their wide ranging interests, participants at the conference share common aims - improved detector performance, finer positional information, cheaper costs and better resistance to intense radiation. The conference will provide a vital forum for exchanging research ideas and experiences.
Speaking today David Miller, Professor of Physics at University College London and the conference organiser , said;
"This is the best kind of technology transfer. Since the first conference in 1987 detector experts have discovered that they need each other's good ideas which can be put to work immediately in hospitals and factories as well as in labs and observatories."