What is Accelerator: Definition and 218 Discussions

A particle accelerator is a machine that uses electromagnetic fields to propel charged particles to very high speeds and energies, and to contain them in well-defined beams.Large accelerators are used for basic research in particle physics. The largest accelerator currently operating is the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, operated by the CERN. It is a collider accelerator, which can accelerate two beams of protons to an energy of 6.5 TeV and cause them to collide head-on, creating center-of-mass energies of 13 TeV. Other powerful accelerators are, RHIC at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York and, formerly, the Tevatron at Fermilab, Batavia, Illinois. Accelerators are also used as synchrotron light sources for the study of condensed matter physics. Smaller particle accelerators are used in a wide variety of applications, including particle therapy for oncological purposes, radioisotope production for medical diagnostics, ion implanters for manufacture of semiconductors, and accelerator mass spectrometers for measurements of rare isotopes such as radiocarbon. There are currently more than 30,000 accelerators in operation around the world.There are two basic classes of accelerators: electrostatic and electrodynamic (or electromagnetic) accelerators. Electrostatic accelerators use static electric fields to accelerate particles. The most common types are the Cockcroft–Walton generator and the Van de Graaff generator. A small-scale example of this class is the cathode ray tube in an ordinary old television set. The achievable kinetic energy for particles in these devices is determined by the accelerating voltage, which is limited by electrical breakdown. Electrodynamic or electromagnetic accelerators, on the other hand, use changing electromagnetic fields (either magnetic induction or oscillating radio frequency fields) to accelerate particles. Since in these types the particles can pass through the same accelerating field multiple times, the output energy is not limited by the strength of the accelerating field. This class, which was first developed in the 1920s, is the basis for most modern large-scale accelerators.
Rolf Widerøe, Gustav Ising, Leó Szilárd, Max Steenbeck, and Ernest Lawrence are considered pioneers of this field, conceiving and building the first operational linear particle accelerator, the betatron, and the cyclotron.
Because the target of the particle beams of early accelerators was usually the atoms of a piece of matter, with the goal being to create collisions with their nuclei in order to investigate nuclear structure, accelerators were commonly referred to as atom smashers in the 20th century. The term persists despite the fact that many modern accelerators create collisions between two subatomic particles, rather than a particle and an atomic nucleus.

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  1. Raffaello

    Physics Engineering Physicist interview with SLAC

    Hello. I am an accelerator physicist with a couple of years of experience. I've already had an interview session with the recruiter. Then, they sent me an email saying that I will have a technical interview with the hiring manager. I've never had physics interviews before because my research...
  2. M

    B Basic Straight Line Permanent Magnet Accelerator

    I stumbled upon this video on YouTube: Here is a screenshot with some colored lines added of the part that generated a few questions in my head that I hope some of you smart folk can answer for me. In the video, the spherical magnet (at the end near the two big magnets) appears to increase...
  3. J

    I Removing a proton with a particle accelerator

    What would it look like if I used a particle accelerator to remove a proton from a particular element? What would the physical change in the element look like if observed? Would the element appear to "magically" change into something else right before your very eyes, as if by some kind of spooky...
  4. redirmigician

    B Plasma recovery at wakefield accelerators

    Is it possible to keep the plasma ionized almost indefinitely. No additional heating is required.
  5. W

    Electronics Would This Setup for a Ball Bearing Accelerator Work?

    I need a method to accelerate a ball bearing down a pair of wire tracks, and to generate a consistent amount of force on every activation. Please critique my tentative design: I want to use an inductive coil activated by a proximity sensor to generate a transient EM field to accelerate the ball...
  6. Astronuc

    I Multi-GeV Electron Bunches from All-Optical Laser Wakefield Accelerator

    Compact electron accelerator reaches new speeds with nothing but light https://phys.org/news/2022-09-compact-electron.html Multi-GeV Electron Bunches from an All-Optical Laser Wakefield Accelerator Abstract We present the first demonstration of multi-GeV laser...
  7. W

    B Magnetic accelerator types

    What benefit does a v-shape magnetic accelerator (image 1) have over a linear magnetic accelerator (image 2)? Image 1: v-shape Image 2: linear The v-shape magnetic accelerator appears to increase the ball's average speed with a larger angle. What is the physics behind this?
  8. T

    I Exploring the Universe with a Particle Accelerator

    If experiments were conducted with a particle accelerator in a distant space from Earth or even our galaxy somewhere in the universe would the results change? I.e finding different elements ect..
  9. R

    Particle Accelerator concentration

    Summary:: What concentration for electrical engineering works on particle accelerators? What concentration for electrical engineering works on particle accelerators?
  10. O

    I Linear Accelerator Length Contraction

    I am trying to understand the effect of relativistic length contraction on the electron bunches in a linear accelerator. Figure B is for nonrelativistic speeds, successive cylinder lengths are progressively longer. However, wikipedia says "At speeds near the speed of light, the incremental...
  11. I

    Construction Homemade particle accelerator

    I have very little knowledge on engineering or electrical engineering at the moment, which is why I would like to learn more about it. I have read many articles on them but I am still unclear of some of the materials required for something like this. I am very unqualified to be discussing...
  12. R

    Is it possible to put multiple accelerator grids in an ion engine?

    Is it possible to put multiple accelerator grid in ion engine instead of one? So we will get higher exhaust velocity and benefit for us right? or is there any disadvantages?
  13. A

    I Static potential accelerator question

    From what I know accelerators that use cavities like LHC for example pass the protons multiple times around in order for the cavities to accelerate them at each pass to a higher energy, since they can't accelerate the protons to an energy high enough with just one pass. So the protons pass...
  14. ersa17

    Physics Job prospects for accelerator physics

    For a while, I was thinking about pursuing my Master's in physics specializing in accelerator physics for the reasons that, one, it seemed quite fun because it was a mixture of physics and engineering both and I could learn a lot of cool things to do with the particle accelerator(both in...
  15. W

    How far do gamma rays extend from an accelerator?

    According to https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/7234564, the HERMES III which stand for High Energy Radiation Megavolt Electron Source accelerator is "capable of delivering a peak dose of ~100 krad (CaF2) over a useful area of ~1000cm2 (area where dose is greater than 50% of the peak dose) in a...
  16. Wrichik Basu

    Handling brake failure/stuck accelerator in auto transmission cars

    It's been a year since I was issued my driving licence. I have never driven automatic transmission cars, so my idea about them is very faint. I know that there is no clutch pedal, and one doesn't have to shift gears while driving forward - that's it. Last day, I was watching a TV show where...
  17. L

    Energy, current and electrical potential of a particle accelerator 🎆

    Hello, I have answered the question below but would like some advice on whether I can improve my answer or if anyone is able to check whether I have made any mistakes ? i. 1 V = 1eV in a 1:1 relationship, therefore; 6.5 TeV = 6.5 TV = 6.5 *10^12V ii. E=W W=V * Q Q=number of particles * charge...
  18. A

    Energy for an electron in an accelerator

    I honestly just have no idea where to start on parts c and b. I tried 1.1*10^-12 N x 3218 m for part a, which was right. But I'm lost on b and c. I'm also wondering if we have to include a gamma factor in any of this, but I'm unsure how or where. Any help would be amazing.
  19. R

    Question about accelerator physics

    In accelerator physics, mapping matrix is often used to describe particle's motion.For a given one turn mapping matrix,namely M(s+L|s) ,and initial (x,x').After matrix multiplication, I find the value of (x,x') changes which means particle's position and angle changes at the same s after one...
  20. ersa17

    Computational projects in Accelerator Physics

    Hello. I am not sure if this question is relevant to be asked here but anyway please help me if possible. I have just completed my undergraduate degree in Applied Physics and I am interested to pursue my MS in accelerator physics. Since I haven't taken any course in accelerator physics, atomic...
  21. Wrichik Basu

    I Clarification of accelerator physics terminology

    I have been reading some papers on accelerator physics recently, especially those on the LHC and the upcoming FCC-hh. As a beginner, I am not supposed to know everything, but there are a few terms that I feel I have to know in order to penetrate further into this field. Unfortunately Google...
  22. R

    I Lab frame and accelerator frame

    In the file I present below,it shows a way to calculate luminosity in boost frame when crossing angle exists.I can't understand why luminosity calculation is done in boost frame instead of lab frame where calculations are much easier.I also have difficulty understanding lab frame,accelerator...
  23. R

    Relativistic speed accelerator for physics experiments in a capsule

    Is it technologically feasible today or in the near future, to accelerate in outer space a ~0.1 gram physics experiment lab, inside a cyclic accelerator and shoot it in a straight line at a constant speed of 5%-80% of the speed of light? That miniature capsule, must include all that is needed...
  24. W

    High-Accuracy & High-Precision Launcher for Ping Pong Balls?

    I'm looking for recommendations for a relatively low-budget launching mechanism design for launching ping pong balls with high accuracy and high precision (able to consistently land within a 0.5 cm radius of a fixed point located about 30 cm away from the launcher). I've tried constructing a...
  25. W

    I Which instruments are used to determine the composition of dark matter?

    Hello, I have a general understanding of how we are aware of the presence of dark matter in the universe and the fact that we still don't know exactly what is that dark matter is made of. I would like to know which instruments are used to try and find an answer. For instance, from what I...
  26. L

    I Particle Accelerator with the Earth's diameter

    If particle accelerators with circumference of the Earth could be built (imagine around the world). How many TeV can it reach? Maybe new physics can occur at 2000 TeV. I heard the US nuclear arsenals costs 2 trillion dollars. Worldwide, the total costs of all nations nuclear arsenals may reach...
  27. B

    Current Transformer Proton Accelerator

    Suppose you place a current transformer into a vacuum and flow ionized hydrogen through the center of it. The ionized hydrogen would act as the secondary winding of the current transformer. How specifically would the acceleration that the hydrogen ions experience be calculated?
  28. paulOlivetti

    A What procedure do scientists use to get time on a collider/particle accelerator?

    Is there some sort of special format of proposal they must put together? Do they need institutional support (from their university, dept. chair, company, etc)? Are there costs involved? Does it depend on the facility? Does anyone know where I can get this sort of information? Thanks in...
  29. Baroo

    I Gamma and beta radiation in accelerators?

    How ,exactly, are gamma and beta radiations produced in electron accelerators? Is the process for gamma almost the same as X-ray in linear accelerators? What about beta?
  30. W

    Building a linear accelerator -- radiation shielding, O2-,

    So, I have no education in this field. I've really been into mutant breeding and crisper plasmid based genetic engineering. I've read that heavy ions create a greater number of mutagens than electron magnetic radiation such as deep uvc. lately particle accelerators have been on my mind. I'm...
  31. E

    I Particle accelerator design

    I've been working on modifying the cyclotron particle accelerator. Tell me what you think? It's pretty basic though
  32. A

    I want to build a particle accelerator

    Yes it sounds like I've lost it but I really want to build one. I was wondering is someone could guide me to useful resources. I'm currently reading some patents I found online to gain some more insight. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
  33. J

    I New particle accelerator

    would it be a more economical idea to accelerate cosmic rays from the atmosphere which are already traveling at 43 percent of speed of light as particles in a particle accelerator. Do you think that this would be more economical in principle or that you could achieve higher collision speeds?
  34. J

    CNO fusion using particle accelerator?

    The CNO cycle (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNO_cycle) is a catalytic fusion reaction that produces energy in stars larger than the sun. It converts four protons into a helium-4 nucleus using a cycle of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen isotopes as catalysts and releases 26.7 MeV of energy mostly...
  35. J

    Accelerator radiation protection program

    Hi everyone, I have this question attached from the ABHP exam in part B you are asked to list and justify 4 major elements for accelerator radiation protection program for this specific facility, I have written some answers which are : 1) ALARA which includes : time distance shielding source...
  36. Physics345

    Synchrotron Accelerator

    Homework Statement Examine the following diagram of a particle accelerator.[/B] a) Give a brief explanation of how it works. b) Describe what might happen to the particle accelerator if the magnetic field was too weak. c) Describe one change to the electric field and one change to the magnetic...
  37. M

    Engineering What can a nuclear engineer do in a particle accelerator ?

    Do they need a nuclear engineer in a Synchrotron ? if yes what kind of job does he do ?
  38. A

    Cockcroft Walton Accelerator

    Hi everyone. I am doing some research about Cockcroft Walton Accelerators, because I need to be able to explain them to others as a part of a project. However, in order to understand the Cockcroft Walton Accelerator, I need to be able to understand the Cockcroft Walton Generator first. I have...
  39. bball919

    I want to make a small particle accelerator for cheap.

    I am looking for a way to make a small particle accelerator for really cheap. I am in 8th grade and do not know a lot or have a lot of money but still want a project. if you have a pdf or other doc of plans that would be much appreciated thanks.
  40. deuce123

    I Particle accelerator question -- when the protons "crash" particles are created

    I'm not sure if this is the right place for this question., but I'll ask anyways. So in particle accelerators when the protons "crash" particles are created because of the extremely high amount of energy(example of e=mc^2?)? Is that correct? Also, where do these particles come from? The Higgs...
  41. eigenmax

    B Is my Cockcroft-Walton accelerator design correct?

    I am building a Cockcroft-Walton accelerator for a science fair project, so how does this design sound? Starting from the top, there is a polished steel terminal, like a VDG terminal. Inside here is the proton source and power supply to the source (the source is a hydrogen discharge tube) . The...
  42. Rabu001

    Physics Accelerator Physicist info?

    I looked on google for someone's opinion about this field, unfortunately, my search deemed unsuccessful as i found non other than jobs looking for accelerator physicist themselves. and this lack itself worries me. I would like to know more about this field, an explanation, for a simple minded...
  43. EnumaElish

    News Ancient particle accelerator discovered on Mars

    "The search for water, or even signs of life, on the planet Mars has been ongoing for some time. But with today’s announcement by CERN and NASA scientists, the exploration of the red planet has revealed a major new discovery. New images of the surface of Mars taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance...
  44. S

    Can an Electrostatic Fluid Accelerator inflate a balloon?

    Hey guys, I am trying out an idea. I want to see if I can make an electrostatic fluid accelerator inflate a balloon. Attached is an image of a concept I came up with that works a little differently. Before I dive in, I was wondering if anyone on the forum could tell me if my concept might or...
  45. D

    Gauss' gun/magnetic linear accelerator

    Hi, I'm currently doing my extended essay for the IB in physics and I'm basing mine around the Gauss gun (similar post that explains it really well here https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/physics-behind-gaussian-accelerator-magnetic-linear-accelerator.320389/). What I was wondering was how I...
  46. T

    Special relativity and particle accelerator

    Homework Statement (a) A spaceship at rest in a certain reference frame S is given a speed increment of 0.50c. Relative to its new frame, it is then given a further 0.50c increment.This process is continued until its speed with respect to its original frame S exceeds 0.999c. How many...
  47. M

    Schools Accelerator schools and recently received some offers

    Hi all, I applied to some accelerator schools and recently received some offers. 1. University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL) 2. University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) 3. Texas A&M (TAMU) 4. Northern Illinois University (NIU) Anyone here familiar with these schools ? NIU looks attractive with its...
  48. D

    Engineering Career path for particle accelerator engineering?

    I'm currently in year 12 (studying IB with hl physics, maths and chemistry) in the UK and am starting to look at uni courses. For a few years now I have been absolutely fascinated by the particle physics/quantum side of physics. At the movement I would love to work in research in this sort of...
  49. moenste

    Speed, force, magnetic flux of an ion?

    Homework Statement The diagram shows a mass spectrometer used for measuring the masses of isotopes. It consists of an ion generator and accelerator, a velocity selector and an ion separator, all in a vacuum. In one experiment, tin ions, each of which carries a charge of +1.6 * 10-19 C, are...
  50. Armando Valle

    A How can i build a homemade particle accelerator?

    Hello people, i was thinking about building a homemade particle accelerator but i do not know the materials and specifications to build one, can you guys help me know what thing do i need to buy and how to make one? Thanks