laser driven particle accelerator

To study the fundamentals of the particle in physics Particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are incredibly useful – and usually incredibly huge – instruments. But now scientists have managed to squeeze one on to a silicon chip.

Particle accelerators are usually very big and are available at some specific laboratories. Because photons are able to impart momentum to electrons, the size of the machine is huge.

A team of researchers from Stanford University has developed the first Dielectric laser-driven particle accelerator prototype, they are looking forward to providing a more compact alternative to the well-known massive particle accelerators, including the LHC and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

laser driven particle acceleratorParticle accelerators represent an indispensable tool in science and industry. However, the size and cost of conventional radio-frequency accelerators limit the utility and reach of this technology. Dielectric laser accelerators (DLAs) provide a compact and cost-effective solution to this problem by driving accelerator nanostructures with visible or near-infrared pulsed lasers, resulting in a 104 reduction of scale.

“The largest accelerators are like powerful telescopes,” says electrical engineer Jelena Vuckovic, from Stanford University. “There are only a few in the world and scientists must come to places like SLAC to use them.”

“We want to miniaturise accelerator technology in a way that makes it a more accessible research tool.”


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laser driven particle accelerator cTo make this machine miniature the researchers used the much shorter wavelengths of lasers rather than the conventional microwave acceleration used at SLAC.

They carved a nanoscale channel out of silicon – less than the width of a human hair – sealed it in a vacuum, and then propelled electrons through it using pulses of infrared light (silicon appears transparent to infrared light beams).

The formula of the reverse approach used to design this particle accelerator in which researchers have to first figure out how much light energy they wanted to deliver, and then working backward to create nanoscale structures capable of delivering it.

though the laser acceleration is not new it has been tried before, but this is the first time that scientists have been able to get an entire accelerator system built in so small a space, in part due to the computer algorithms that helped in the design of the setup.

Physicist Robert Byer (one of the team members), from Stanford University, told Sophie Bushwick at Scientific American. “You not only have to demonstrate the ability to couple the laser light to the electrons in these very small structures, but you have to generate the electrons and have them also be transmitted by the channel,”.

This new invention will lead to cheaper and easier access to technology for researchers, who can use it in their different experiments. you will surprise to know the team had linked this particle accelerator to a home PC. Earlier the mainframe computer used to take up the entire rooms.

The paper has been published in the Science journal.

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