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Physics Who Knows Anything About the Field of Accelerator Physics?

  1. Oct 30, 2012 #1

    I know there was a thread about this article at some point but take a look at this:


    It claims that Accelerator Physics is a field where jobs go begging!

    Regardless of whether the jobs go begging or not, I find the field itself fascinating. Does anyone if there are careers in healthcare that rely on this background? I am trying to think about where an Accelerator Physicist can work, besides the obvious, and I saw mentions to a need for accelerator physicists in healthcare and other areas...

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2012 #2
    Some accelerators like the GE PETrace are used to manufacture radiopharmaceuticals (usually positron emitters) such as F-18, N-13, etc. I know several years ago Kettering was doing research into other positron emitters.

    As for an actual accelerator physicist, about the only thing I can think they would be doing which such existing machines is either modifying them for additional applications or developing other models.
  4. Oct 30, 2012 #3
    I know that multinational oil and natural gas companies actively recruit physicists. For example, Schlumberger gave a recruitment presentation at Jefferson Lab in the summer of 2010. Perhaps not surprisingly, they have a preference for people with experience in the kinds of physics most relevant to resource extraction (I think spectroscopy and geo stuff), but I think they also sometimes hire former accelerator physicists.
  5. Oct 30, 2012 #4


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  6. Oct 31, 2012 #5
    That's the thread I was referring to! I know this has been mentioned before...
    This does really sound intriguing, especially after going through one of your links:


    I wonder if there are any accelerator physicists around here that might offer some insight about the field and their career.

    As someone considering graduate school, what would be a good program/field to look into that might eventually lead into such a career? My understanding is that most of the preparation for such careers happens during short and intense summer training programs.
  7. Oct 31, 2012 #6


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    There are many schools that offer a program in accelerator physics. Maryland, Cornell, Indiana, UCLA, USC, Berkeley, Stanford, etc... etc. There are even smaller schools, such as Illinois Inst. of Technology and Vanderbilt, for examples, that may have small number of students, but with the USPAS and access to National labs, their students have no disadvantage over the bigger boys.

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