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Researchers are building particle accelerators smaller than a single coin

Researchers are building particle accelerators smaller than a single coin

© FAU/Laser Physics, Stephanie Krause, Julian Leitzel

Of the Particle accelerator He thinks he might have gotten famous first.”Large Hadron Collider“In mind. As the name suggests, it is with him 27 km Very large long tunnel. But this is an exceptional example. It becomes repetitive Particle accelerator Used in medicine. There they are several meters tall.

But they are still bulky and expensive, which is why new products are being used Acceleration method Research is being conducted that allows for a smaller design. And now the team has arrived Friedrich Alexander University (FAU) Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany achieved a breakthrough. They were able to measurably accelerate electrons in a structure only a few nanometers in size.

Energy gains of 43 percent

The structure is just that It is 0.5 mm long and 225 nm wide (One nanometer equals 0.0000001 millimeter). So it fits on one 1 cent coin. Ultrashort laser pulses accelerate particles. The goal is to create particle acceleration on a computer chip. They increased power by accelerating 12 keV, from 23.4 to 40.7 keV. This is an energy gain 43 percentResearchers say. The study appeared In the journal Nature.

A particle accelerator is very small compared to a dime

Use in radiotherapy

“Our dream application is to have a particle accelerator on one of these devices The telescope “In order to be able to perform radiotherapy directly on the affected area of ​​the body,” explains study author Tomasz Kluba In the current situation. These treatments are used, for example, to combat Cancer cells To use.

But to do this, the energy must be there Factor 100 Be growing. Researchers are now working on that. This can be achieved either by channel optimization or by placing multiple channels next to each other.

In addition to scientists from FAU, the team at Stanford University Breakthrough in the USA. The results are currently being examined. Both universities are working Together since 2015 About realizing a particle accelerator on a computer chip.

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