A Conversation for Particle Accelerators
A few remarks
Marjin, After a long time of procrastination back lurking Started conversation Jun 19, 2001
I think you covered most of what can be said about accelerators without going much too deep.
A few remarks though.
At the low end of the energy range I miss the electrostatic accelerators like the cascade (or Cockroft-Walton) generator and the moving belt of the Van der Graaff generator. These are (or were) used in the range up to a few MeV.
At the other side an explanation may be in order why a collider is used. This is effectively a collision between fast moving vacuums, while in most other cases you smash a vacuum into a massive target, giving much more collisions.
With a massive target most of the collision energy is used to bring the target-atom and all the reaction products up to the speed of the centre of mass, giving everything about the same speed and direction.
With two colliding beams the number of collisions is much lower, but as the centre of mass is effectively motionless, the reaction products may fly in any direction and the full energy is used for the reaction.
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