The purpose of a particle accelerator is to accelerate and hence to increase the kinetic energy of a charged particle (using electric and magnetic fields) so that it can be used to bombard various substances to produce disintegrations.
Nuclear reactions which are carried out using accelerated particles are used:
- In the discovery of new particles like positrons, mesons etc.
- Study of theories related to the nuclear forces existing in the nucleus to hold the nucleons and nuclear structure.
Basic methods for obtaining high-energy particles:
- Static or Direct Voltage Accelerator- It accelerates the charged particles like protons, α-particles, electrons etc. by subjecting them to high accelerating potential.
- Linear or Indirect Voltage Accelerator- In this type, there is a continuous series of linear pulses arrangement with additive stages so as to give the ions an extra push.
- Orbital or Circular Particle Accelerator- In these types of accelerators, an alternating voltage is used to accelerators and under the influence of electric and magnetic fields the particle moves in the circular path.
- By radioactivity, high energies ions (α-particles, β-radiations etc.) are obtained up to energies of only about 9 MeV.
- But by accelerators high energies of the ions are achieved and also any desired controlled energy is possible.
- Since the ions are accelerated only in one direction, the rate of hitting the target is increased by 105 to 106 times.
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