Article ID: CBB289456943

Die Neutronentherapie: Ein Experimentalsystem der Radioonkologie (2017)


Neutron Therapy: An Experimental System in Radiooncology. The history of the use of neutrons in radiotherapy will be revisited by focusing on the ideas, theories and experiments that led to first clinical studies. For addressing epistemological questions regarding biological effects of fast neutrons, the notion of an “experimental system” is employed and its evolution over time discussed. Taking up the analytical framework of Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, biological effects and the physical instrument “cyclotron” are conceptualized in terms of epistemic and technical objects. It is shown that the epistemic object “biological effects of neutrons” could never reach the status of a technical object and – more strikingly – that the cyclotron itself returned to being an epistemic object in the context of medicine. So there is a misunderstanding of the different roles epistemic and technical objects have to play in the framework of an experimental system. This misunderstanding led to today's highly controversial discussions about the application of neutrons in radiotherapy.

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Authors & Contributors
Crease, Robert P.
Lincoln, Don
Hein Brookhuis
Hoffmann, Hans Falk
Wittje, Roland
Wilson, E. J. N.
Physics in Perspective
History of the Human Sciences
Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Journal of the History of the Neurosciences
World Scientific
MIT Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
Particle accelerators
Scientific apparatus and instruments
Atomic, nuclear, and particle physics
Big science
Experiments and experimentation
Hitzig, Eduard
Fritsch, Gustav
Time Periods
20th century, late
21st century
20th century
20th century, early
19th century
United States
Large Hadron Collider (LHC)
Brookhaven National Laboratory (United States)
Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK CEN)
Argonne National Laboratory (Illinois)
France. Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique
European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)

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