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Tabletop particle accelerator

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#1 DocM


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Posted 21 June 2013 - 00:54


Particle accelerator that can fit on a tabletop opens new chapter for science research

Physicists at The University of Texas at Austin have built a tabletop particle accelerator that can generate energies and speeds previously reached only by major facilities that are hundreds of meters long and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build.

"We have accelerated about half a billion electrons to 2 gigaelectronvolts over a distance of about 1 inch," said Mike Downer, professor of physics in the College of Natural Sciences. "Until now that degree of energy and focus has required a conventional accelerator that stretches more than the length of two football fields. It's a downsizing of a factor of approximately 10,000."

The results, which were published this week in Nature Communications, mark a major milestone in the advance toward the day when multi-gigaelectronvolt (GeV) laser plasma accelerators are standard equipment in research laboratories around the world.

Downer said he expects 10 GeV accelerators of a few inches in length to be developed within the next few years, and he believes 20 GeV accelerators of similar size could be developed within a decade.

Downer said that the electrons from the current 2 GeV accelerator can be converted into "hard" X-rays as bright as those from large-scale facilities. He believes that with further refinement they could even drive an X-ray free electron laser, the brightest X-ray source currently available to science.

A tabletop X-ray laser would be transformative for chemists and biologists, who could use the bright X-rays to study the molecular basis of matter and life with atomic precision, and femtosecond time resolution, without traveling to a large national facility.


#2 Torolol


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Posted 21 June 2013 - 00:59

its using Windows XP?
i see green start button there.

#3 Hum


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Posted 21 June 2013 - 01:07

^ Hey, this is advanced technology ! :p

#4 Phantom Helix

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 01:08

its using Windows XP?
i see green start button there.



I'm amazed that all this uber high-tech science equipment is always powered by low end computers or old software that is horribly unsecure, unless they choose to use an IOS or android mobile device to make a cute robot or self driving hotwheels lol

#5 68k


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Posted 21 June 2013 - 01:12

XP still does the job though. Combined with decent AV software, it's still adequate for the majority of today's needs (ie. people get work done = profits made).

#6 Raa


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Posted 21 June 2013 - 01:26

If it's not connected to an online network, does it really matter?

#7 thomastmc


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Posted 21 June 2013 - 01:27

I doubt that XP is doing anything other than acting as a host to monitoring and diagnostic software; 1) Because the software isn't compatible with NT 6.x; 2) Because XP is just what operating system is still used on their lab equipment (like many small businesses); 3) Both.


It's like controlling a telescope with a laptop. It's just sending signals and getting back the output of the device to display in an understandable way.


I'm certainly no expert on particle accelerators, so I could be wrong, but from the limited amount that I do know this is what I'd think is likely the case.

#8 Solid Knight

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 01:46

Where can I get one? How much does it cost?

#9 OP DocM


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Posted 21 June 2013 - 02:17

More than you have ;)

Also, the military version of WinXP is still used on some nuclear subs so....