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Accelerator of ions

  1. Dec 3, 2009 #1
    Recently in Russia they published a book about a specific accelerator of ions. The ions are accelerated by electrons. They built an accelerator of 15 cm in length, with 1 MeV of electron beam and they obtain ions of 1 GeV at the exit. I wonder if there are similar accelerators in the West?
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2009 #2


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    Also, the third phase of the LHC
  4. Dec 3, 2009 #3
    As far as I could understand, RHIC Accelerators do not use the effect I mention in OP. I repeat: the ions are accelerated by electrons, not by electrodes.
  5. Dec 4, 2009 #4
    Yeah, RHIC is "conventional", but WOW! Quark-gluon plasmas... tiny black holes...

    As for using electrons, this is somewhat of a holy-grail in some circles. The concept is simple; take some electrons from a plasma, separate them from the ions, and there will be an electrostatic field that is so huge that the ions will reach high energies in 10's of microns. This is what is done (routinely) in many laser labs, mostly in the Northern Hemisphere. Fire a very powerful laser at an extremely thin piece of solid. The laser "heats" the electrons predominantly in the forward direction, they leave the target and set up this short-lived field that accelerates ions.

    The electrons have a "temperature" of order of MeV, as you said, and, if the ions are protons, their energies are coming out at 20-50 MeV. For higher Z ions, the energies can be > GeV. But one must look at the energy per nucleon before one is impressed or not! For medical applications, protons at 200 MeV are needed to get to ~ center of a human body. So, for applications, think of 200 MeV per nucleon, roughly.

    I'm not sure what you are referencing in you initial comment, but ions can be accelerated by electrons to GeV energies in 10-100 microns and 10-100 psec. But take care of which ion and, for my example, there is a rather large laser used to make the electrons.
  6. Dec 4, 2009 #5
    I myself do not know much about it. They say currents are about 10000-100000 A, duration: 10-8 - 10-9 s. And I think there is no laser involved. I have to find out more though.
  7. Dec 4, 2009 #6
    I'd be interesting as to what kind of accelerator this is. With such high currents, I suspect that it is also large aperture, too. kA/cm^2 time x cm^2.

    Could it be for neutral-beam heating of tokamaks? On second thought, probably not. Those would be H- ions (H with 2 electrons; or is it H2 with one extra electron?) and 1 GeV is a huge energy.
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