High energy atomic particles

  1. Hello. I read about fast neutron therapy for cancer and the therapy uses a beam of high energy neutrons. How do you excite a particle to make it have "higher" energy.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    The term "high energy" refers to the speed of the neutrons. In fast neutron therapy, neutrons are typically produced by smashing protons or deuterons into a beryllium target, which results in neutron spallation. IE the protons and deuterons smash into the beryllium and knock neutrons out of the beryllium nuclei. These neutrons then proceed at high speed away from the beryllium and through a beam collimator that ensures the neutron beam forms the correct shape and size and is directed in the right direction to hit the patient exactly where they need it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_neutron_therapy
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spallation#Production_of_neutrons_at_a_spallation_neutron_source

    Of course, if you're asking about particles in general, then I can say that it is very very easy to accelerate charged particles like protons using electric fields and RF radiation.
     
  4. Great reply. Thank you!
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share a link to this question via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook