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Nuclear & Plasma Sciences Society

Distinguished Lectures

Dr. Patrick Le Du

Senior Scientific Advisor Institut National de Physique Nucleaire et de Physique des Particules, France


Application of Fundamental Physics Innovative Techniques and Tools to Other Fields

This is the first of a set of three lectures that have the objective of discussing technology transfer from basic research in High Energy Physics to practical applications. The lectures can be optimized as single ‘lectures’ or combined/extended as ‘summer school’ type lectures. Technology transfer needs to be promoted actively outside the fundamental physics community for the benefit of society. High Energy Physics is not only hunting the Higgs, but has some experience in technology transfer. It is not simple and need a very ‘open minded’ point of view. It can help attract a new generation of young students. Understanding the problems between collaborative partners is essential. Medical doctors need to be educated about new technologies; physicists are sometime arrogant by thinking that they already have the final solution and forgetting the reality of the medical clinical world; and for industrial and commercial companies, this is always a financial concern at the end. Successful technology transfer can result in an extension of established applications and an improvement of current performance levels and finally a more beneficial cost/benefit ratio.

This lecture is intended to give a flavor of the value of Particle Physics: can we use the state-of-the-art technologies, tools and techniques developed for fundamental physics experiments in the field of High Energy Physics (HEP) for other applications of interest to society?

High energy and particle physics has considerable acquired knowledge, expertise and resources that can, when transferred in a realistic way, significantly impact other fields of applications like the practice of medical imaging for diagnostic and therapy, safeguarding homeland security, environmental sciences and severe nuclear accident monitoring.

This overview introductory talk “from basic science to the human reality” intends to show how successful technology transfer between fundamental research in Particle Physics and other fields of applications can be achieved using specific examples.

Using as input the recent advance of HEP state-of-the-art techniques and tools in detectors developments like solid-state and gaseous detectors, calorimeters, scintillators, photodetectors, read-out electronics and simulations, this talk will provide examples of some direct applications in medical and molecular imaging like Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Computed Tomography (CT), X-Ray imaging and many others.

Innovative Concepts in Electronics and Data Acquisition for Biomedical Applications

This is the second of a set of three lectures that have the objective of discussing technology transfer from basic research in High Energy Physics to practical applications. They can be optimized as single ‘lectures’ or combined/extended as ‘summer school’ type lectures. This overview interdisciplinary talk has the main purpose of demonstrating how the HEP development and evolution of front end, no dead-time, low noise electronics, of parallel data read-out, of real-time selection of events, and of terabit data networking (DAQ) and on-line processing farms can be use to drastically improve the performance and efficiency of medical imaging devices like the next generation of Positron Emission Tomography (PET). The first part of the presentation will introduce the generic architectural model of future large colliding-beam experiments like the future Linear Colliders (ILC/CLIC) and its main features like the software trigger concept. An example of possible implementation will be shown using the new Advance Telecom Computing Architecture (ATCA) standard. Then, it will discuss how these innovative ideas, tools, and techniques of the modern architectural concept in data acquisition can be applied in two particular applications of the future: the whole-body Time-Of-Flight Positron Emission Tomography (TOF-PET) for tumor diagnostics, and Hadron therapy In-Beam PET for cancer treatment.

Introduction to Nuclear Medical Physics

The main objective of this third lecture is to present the basic of medical nuclear medicine seen from an experimental particle physicist.  It can be adjusted from 1 to 2 hours according to the interest and level of the audience from students to even general public. It is particularly designed as a basic educating lectures.

The outlines are:

  • Part # 1 – What is medical Physics?
    • A little bit of history from the 1900’s
    • A refreshing presentation of Radiation units (Curie, Becquerel, Gray’s , Sievert ..) and their effects on the human body.
    • The basic of Radiology (from standard exam to the Computed Tomography)
    • Fighting again cancer with modern tools and techniques
    • Introduction to Nuclear medicine, with details about dosimetry and production of tracers
  • Part # 2 – An introduction of Diagnostic imaging modalities and devices
    • CT, MRI, SPECT, TEP with their technical evolution from past to future
  • Part # 3 – Therapy with radiation
    • From Curie therapy, radiotherapy to Particle therapy
  • Part #4 Software and simulation

Image formation, reconstruction and quantification techniques, emerging trends in diagnostic imaging (the use of AI)

How to present your work ?

Some simple ‘personal’ suggestions & guidelines extracted from my own long experience illustrated with some typical examples taken mostly from NPSS material like conferences workshop and instrumentation schools. This lecture on science writing intend to train young scientists to become more effective and confident writers.

It will address some essential and challenging skills like:

– Scientific writing: structure and format according to the target (conference record, journal papers, status report, grant proposal …etc.) reviewing: tittle, abstract, summary, conclusions and references.

– Oral and remote (virtual) presentation using PPT and PDF.

– Poster presentation.

This presentation can be a complement to the 3 previous presentations ….


photo of Dr. Patrick Le Du

Dr. Patrick Le Du is a Senior (retired) experimental physicist at the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), working from 1969 to 2008. He received his Ph.D. in 1973. He was involved as a CEA-Saclay group leader in many High Energy Physics particle accelerator experiments at CERN (PS, SPS-NA3, LEP-OPAL, LHC-ATLAS), SSC(SDC) and FNAL-Tevatron (D0). He is an expert in instrumentation for large experimental systems, including wire chambers (MWPC), photodetectors and timing detectors (TOF), and read out electronics (Trigger and Data Acquisition). Since 2002, he has been a Scientific advisor at CEA and IN2P3 for technology transfer between fundamental physics instrumentation and biomedical imaging (2008). He has chaired many multidisciplinary conferences and workshops, including the IEEE NPSS Real Time 1997 Beaune Conference, and was General Chair of the first non-North American IEEE NSS-MIC in 2000 in Lyon, and NSS-MIC Co-Chair in Strasbourg and Manchester (2019). He was elected member of the Administrative Committee (AdCom) of the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Physics Sciences Society (NPSS) as Transnational Committee Chair (2012) and was Vice-Chair of the Radiation Instrumentation Technical Committee (RITC) (2014). Today, he is a member of the NPSS EduCom functional committee for education and instrumentation schools.

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