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Swiss Scientist Speaks to Science Students at Freed-Hardeman University

Henderson, Tenn. - Sep 29, 2016

Dr. Anton Mezger, section head of the Paul Scherrer Institut in Villigen, Switzerland, spoke to more than 150 students Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016, at Freed-Hardeman University.

PSI is the largest Swiss national research facility with approximately 1,900 employees. It runs several particle accelerators for world-class research. Mezger, a physicist, supervises the 24/7 operation of four proton and electron accelerators.

Among other projects, PSI is investigating the use of protons as a cancer treatment since they are able to release their energy at a very precise spot to destroy cancer cells. By varying the energy and intensity of a pencil proton beam, the volume of the tumor cell can be precisely destroyed.

Mezger also described his struggles during his early years in school when people generally considered him stupid. In high school, however, he did well without spending hours studying. In fact, when he graduated, the textbooks he had to return had not been opened.

“Dr. Mezger did a great job presenting material in a way that our students could follow and enjoy the lecture.  His work is cutting-edge science and our student response was very positive,” Dr. LeAnn Davis, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said. “It's a special day when FHU students can meet and enjoy a lecture from an internationally acclaimed physicist.”

Mezger is the sister of Ellen Barry who, along with her husband Anthony, now lives in Chester County.