Scientists Might Be Able to Create Portable Particle Accelerators
Cernescu Andrei / 2 years ago
Particle accelerators are definitely not known for their compact sizes, but that might change soon thanks to a team of researchers from the University of Maryland who managed to find a way to miniaturize these devices in order to make them portable, to a certain degree at least.
Sources suggest that these mini-accelerators could work by shooting plasma using a laser pulse in such a way as to intensify the pulse and create a wake. This way, electrons could be accelerated to near the speed of light without using enormous amounts of energy, and the entire device could potentially be so small that it could fit inside a regular cart. Compare that with current particle accelerators that occupy entire rooms, and you’ll quickly understand why this is such a big deal in the science world.
However, some accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider can’t really be made smaller because of their immense energy requirements. More modest devices can definitely be brought down to more practical sizes, which is great news as the same principles could be applied in other fields such as medicine in order to make imaging equipment smaller and easier to carry around to patients’ rooms. I do hope that the team working on this will manage to see some results and soon.