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RijksUniversiteit, Groningen (RUG) / Kernfysisch Versneller Instituut - Center for Advanced Radiation Technology (KVI-CART), Groningen

Research & Application

Particle accelerator, accelerator physics, nuclear physics, astrophysics, medical physics

No additional requirements

Bus leaves 08.45 hrs and returns approx. 19.45 hrs

Nota Bene:
There is no option to attend Wednesday morning refresher courses.

Offered by KVI-CART

Schematic program:

  • Reception/Security Coffee/Tea
  • Presentation: KVI Introduction by: Hans Beijers
  • Lunch
  • Tour KVI-CART
  • Coffee/Tea pause
  • Refresher Course: Radiation Protection and Particle Accelerators by: Hans Beijers


Since 1996 the AGOR (Accélérateur Groningen-ORsay) cyclotron – result of a cooperation and co-design of KVI, Groningen and IPN, Orsay, France – has been operational. AGOR is a superconducting cyclotron that can deliver a large variety of beams e.g. 190 MeV protons, 90 MeV/nucleon alpha’s  and  carbon and 600 (Q/A)2 MeV/nucleon  heavy ions. With Q/A  the charge over mass  ratio.

KVI-CART performs basic research on subatomic and astroparticle physics and application-driven research on accelerator physics and physics in medicine working in close collaboration with the scientific community, healthcare and industry, on long-term solutions for science and society. Through the development of state-of-the-art detection techniques, KVI-CART fosters the cross-fertilization between basic and application-driven research.

Along these lines KVI-CART developed advanced detection systems and detection technologies which can be applied in science and society:

  • The AGOR accelerator group has three main areas of research: Accelerator Physics, Ion Sources and Irradiations and Radiobiology
  • Research in the field of Astroparticle Physics focuses on the study of the sky map of the high-energy Universe, addressing the unknown origin of cosmic rays at the highest energies as the acceleration mechanism(s) leading to ultra-high energies (E > 1016 eV) and their sources are largely unknown. Another subject studied is lightning as the details of the lightning mechanisms are still unknown. Newly developed detection instruments allow precision measurements of the initial steps in lightning initiation and propagation.
  • At the atomic level, the chemical properties of the elements are predominantly governed by the electromagnetic forces. At a smaller scale, the properties of atomic nuclei are governed by two more interactions: the strong and the weak interactions. The mass of all visible matter stems primarily from the strong interaction giving rise to nucleons, and more generally, hadrons. Research is focused on how matter at the scale of nuclei and hadrons is being formed from its constituent elements and their underlying forces.
  • Radiotherapy with photons has improved significantly in the last decades. Doses to the healthy tissues have decreased by using techniques intensity modulation of the radiation field. However, radiation induced complications are still a serious issue. One possible route towards a further reduction of the radiation dose to the surrounding healthy tissues, and thus of the complications, is the use of heavy charged particles (protons and other ions) instead of photons. However, the finite penetration depth of ions and the high dose deposit at the end of their path, which make it possible to substantially reduce the radiation dose to the surrounding healthy tissue, are not only a benefit. They also cause the dose distribution to be rather sensitive to small errors in the modelling of the tissue composition or patient anatomy and density, based on X-ray imaging, used to predict the energy loss of the protons. These issues call for research into combining advanced X-ray and proton imaging techniques, methods for in-vivo verification of the irradiation dose and standards for dosimetry in proton therapy.