Particle Accelerators


HOW DO PARTICLE ACCELERATIONS WORK AND WHAT ARE THEY USED FOR? if you could please send me this information in brief it would be much appreciated thank you.


Particle accelerators work on the principle that charged particles in the presence of electric and magnetic fields experience forces. Most commonly, a charged particle is placed in a toroid (donut shaped container) from which the air has been removed. It is given an initial push by an electric field and a magnetic field is applied perpendicular to the motion of the particle to bend its path into a circle that conforms to the toroid circumference, around the donut hole as it were. By repeatedly pushing the particle with the electric field and adjusting the magnetic field to always keep the particle in the same path around the toroid, extremely high particle velocities (and energies) can be obtained.

The high energy particles produced in particle accelerators can be diverted from their path to exit through a tube in the side of the toroid, like an exit ramp from a circular expressway. At the end of this exit tube we can place targets with which the energetic particle collides, giving us information about the nature of the target material and/or the accelerated particle.

There are other accelerator types but the one described here is the most common. There are various clever schemes for controlling the electric and magnetic fields to get the maximum effect.

I hope you find this information useful.

J. D. Jones
M. Casco Associates.