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Could i construct a small particle accelerator with the resources of

  1. Dec 15, 2008 #1
    a ninth grader? I am a 9th grader in the IB program (International Baccalaureate) and i am deeply fascinated by Michio Kaku and his betatron particel accelerator. I am VERY interested in Physics, especially particle physics. I want to construct a particle accelerator, for an independent project. I would have alot of resources at my disposal, ( a vacuum pump, etc..) The proposed accelerator would be roughly 4-6 feet in diameter, nothing BIG. Is it even logical for me to attempt this? Or am i reaching for goals too advance for my age? Being in the IB program ( a prep program), i am very smart(not to brag), so i could probably handle the math(with help). Could i do this?

    thanks for answering! :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 15, 2008 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

  4. Dec 15, 2008 #3
    yes, but isnt that a ray tube? not a particle accelerator....(i.e. atom smasher)
  5. Dec 16, 2008 #4
    A lot depends on the purpose of the accelerator. Electrons are particles - hence, particle accelerator. If you are trying to accelerate protons, it's a tad more difficult, not just technically but also legally.

    Almost any particle accelerator is capable of producing ionizing radiation. Depending on how much radiation and the energy of the radiation, you might have to register your machine with a state regulatory agency, which, depending on your state, can be both expensive as well as difficult without proper training in the hazards of ionizing radiation.

    Now, as Russ said, you can do just as well with a machine (like a tv set which in essence is a type of particle accelerator, albeit an innocuous one) that accelerates electrons, just not to a high enough energy to cause ionizing radiation.
  6. Dec 16, 2008 #5
    well, i looke di tup, and i am thinking more along the lines of a cyclotron, or synchrotron...i dont want the legal troubles....
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