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3mm Inexpensive Chip Revolutionizes Electron Accelerators

samzenpus posted 1 year,25 days | from the greased-lightning dept.

Science 113

AaronW writes "Scientists and engineers at the US DOE SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have developed an advanced accelerator technology smaller than a grain of rice. It is currently accelerating electrons at 300 million volts per meter with a goal of achieving 1 billion EV per meter. It could do in 100 feet what the SLAC linear accelerator does in two miles and could achieve a million more electron pulses per second. This could lead to more compact accelerators and X-ray devices."

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Or, another option (-1, Offtopic)

bytesex (112972) | 1 year,25 days | (#44989689)

How about time-travel?

Re:Or, another option (5, Funny)

Edis Krad (1003934) | 1 year,25 days | (#44989807)

1 billion EV per meter is not going to cut it. Everyone knows you need 1.21 Gigawatts...

Re:Or, another option (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44989857)

Those units don't even have the same dimension, how do you propose to compare them?

Re:Or, another option (4, Informative)

volvox_voxel (2752469) | 1 year,25 days | (#44989863)

This is a reference to a movie called "Back to the Future"..

Re:Or, another option (1)

Cryacin (657549) | 1 year,25 days | (#44989921)

Don't mind him. He's still dazed from hitting his head on the toilet.

Re:Or, another option (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44990173)

Those units don't even have the same dimension, how do you propose to compare them?

1 Watt is a Joule per second. An eV is 1.6*10^-16 Joule. Now according to the theory of relativity, space and time are just different dimensions of the space time, therefore space units and time units are related. The factor is the light speed, 3*10^8 m/s, that is, a second is 3*10^8 meters, or a meter is 1/(3*10^8) seconds

Therefore 1 eV per meter is 1.6*10^-16 Joule * 3*10^8/second, or 4.8*10^-8 Joule/second. Now a Watt is 1 Joule/second, therefore 1 eV/m is 4.8*10^-8 Watt.

On the other hand, 1.21 Gigawatt are 1.21*10^9 Watt. Which is a factor of about 2.5*10^16. So still quite a way to go for time travel.

SCNR ;-)

And in order to not confuse anyone: the calculation above is of course meaningless because even though you can make the *units* the same using relativity, the *quantities* are still completely different; just like the torsional moment has the same unit as energy, but certainly is not the same as energy.

Re:Or, another option (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990341)

Those units don't even have the same dimension, how do you propose to compare them?

Very carefully?

Re: Or, another option (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44993665)

3jigga-nigga joules / 6rat faced slashdotter.

Re:Or, another option (1)

GNious (953874) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990243)

you misspelled "jigga"

Re:Or, another option (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44993363)

How do they get 1 billion electric vehicles in a meter??

Neutron generator (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44989713)

Give me an efficient source of neutron flux and I can stop collecting smoke detectors. I'm kidding obviously, but if this is cheaper than collecting radium watch hands we may soon have more "Nuclear boy scouts" on our hands.

Good news, everyone! (1)

Yaotzin (827566) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990465)

It's about time we had some more nuclear monst^H^H^H^H^H boy scouts! They used to call me mad, you know. And why? Because I dared to dream of my own race of atomic monsters, atomic supermen with octagonal shaped bodies that suck blood...

Re:Neutron generator (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990469)

Give me an efficient source of neutron flux and I can stop collecting smoke detectors. I'm kidding obviously, but if this is cheaper than collecting radium watch hands we may soon have more "Nuclear boy scouts" on our hands.

On the plus side, not all neutron generators are polite enough to stop generating when you cut the power, so it might be an improvement.

More like Gamma-ray devices (1, Interesting)

cachimaster (127194) | 1 year,25 days | (#44989739)

Unless you can somehow turn down the volume of the device, 300 Mev photons are high-power gamma rays, not x-rays. BTW unlike regular x-rays, at gamma energy levels you can actually activate matter, I.E. turn it radioactive.

Re:More like Gamma-ray devices (5, Informative)

hankwang (413283) | 1 year,25 days | (#44989799)

"300 Mev photons are high-power gamma rays, not x-rays."

No, an accelerator of 300 MeV per meter over 3 mm gives you 1 MeV, or less if the actual field is over less than the chip size. Tuning down from there will easily get you into the x ray domain.

Re:More like Gamma-ray devices (1)

cachimaster (127194) | 1 year,25 days | (#44989849)

Ahh didn't see it was 300 Mev *per meter*. Small detail, thanks!

Re:More like Gamma-ray devices (2)

Sardaukar86 (850333) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990245)

Ahh didn't see it was 300 Mev *per meter*. Small detail, thanks!

This masterful demonstration of The Save reminds me of the way a cat lands on its feet no matter how it is thro^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hfalls.

Re:More like Gamma-ray devices (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44989843)

*facepalm

Neutron radiation != EM radiation (photons) != Beta radiation (electrons)

Neutron radiation messes with nuclei and can make matter radioactive. EM radiation and beta radiation generally do not. Furthermore, you can't accelerate photons (x-rays and gamma rays) since they all travel at c. You can't accelerate neutrons because the only forces that act on them aren't macroscopically accessible. This is an electron accelerator.

Re:More like Gamma-ray devices (2)

cachimaster (127194) | 1 year,25 days | (#44989879)

Fair enough, just two questions:
1) An electron hitting an atom will produce photons with the same energy via the Bremsstrahlung effect. As electrons will hit atoms sometimes, 300 MeV electrons means you will have 300 MeV photons, right?
2) How much energy a photon needs to transmute an atom? I believe it's lower than 300 MeV (but as a commenter said, it's 300 MeV *per meter* so really you need a lot of those devices chained together for them to become dangerous, I guess)

Re:More like Gamma-ray devices (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44989953)

1) You'll probably get some photons out of the deal but they won't all be 300MeV. There are lots of places to put energy (this is what makes particle physics hard) and photons are only one of those places. See the light-matter interaction box on the "Photoelectric_effect" wiki page. At 1MeV, even pair production becomes viable.

2) Photons don't transmute atoms (search for "photonuclear reactions" for the exceptions). Neither do electrons (look up "Electron_capture" for the exception, but it generally only happens with electrons already bound to the nucleus rather than ones flying around). Neutrons transmute elements because they can ignore the Coulomb barrier. Irradiating, say, rubber tubing with gamma radiation won't make it radioactive (it'll probably make some radicals and mess with the chemistry, but nothing nuclear). Neutron radiation is a totally different story.

Re:More like Gamma-ray devices (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44990433)

The SLAC isn't a spallation radiation instrument. It produces xrays by coherent synchrotron radiation: as the electron beam passes through the end-stage undulators, the electrons are undulated at a fixed wavelength by a series of alternating undulator magnets, the wavelength of which is shorter (higher energy) than that of the spacing of the undulators because the electrons "see" the undulators as closer together due to time dilation, the electrons, still carrying over 99% of the bunch energy are then diverted into a dump load, which absorbs the energy of the beam. The xrays, being uncharged photons, carry on past the bending magnet at the end of the accelerator line and into the target huts in the experimental lab.

Because the photons are moving with the electrons during the stimulation stage, they pile up and interact with the electron bunch to produce more photon emission at a very narrow band gap, hence why it is called a free-electron laser.

I'm talking about the SLAC, because this new chip accelerator, besides being developed at SLAC, is intended to be used as an electron source for a similar design of FEL. I suppose it could also be used for high energy spallation experiments, where it would generate much higher energy photons and other particles with a much higher conversion efficiency than a FEL, but with a broad spectrum, rather than the narrow line that an FEL (and until recently, only SLAC) is uniquely able to produce at xray and higher energies.

As a medical radiographer commented when I was talking to him about SLAC: "Cool, colored xrays!"

Re:More like Gamma-ray devices (1)

avandesande (143899) | 1 year,24 days | (#44993533)

My first thought when reading this was that it would an interesting exercise to make a free electron laser using this electron source.

Re:More like Gamma-ray devices (1)

iggymanz (596061) | 1 year,24 days | (#44993919)

photons over 1GeV can indeed transmute nucliei.

Re:More like Gamma-ray devices (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44989983)

1. This accelerator, like SLAC (in it's current configuration), accelerates electrons, and the accelerated electrons are undulated (wiggled) in a vacuum to produce xrays (photons), then the electron beam is deflected off-line into a beam absorber, nearly all of the beam energy at SLAC is discarded, rather than reaching the experimental target. This is unlike most xray sources which generate xrays by spallation (collision with atoms), as the energy (wavelength) of the photons has the same bandwidth as the particle bunch, rather than being spread over a large bandwidth as they are in a typical LINAC xray source. The radiation mechanism is the same as in a synchrotron, when an electron is accelerated it emits EM radiation, because it is being cyclically accelerated by alternately poled magnets, the emitted radiation wavelength is determined by the beam velocity, the spacing of the undulators, and relativistic time dilation, rather than the beam energy (the X-ray photons have lower eV than the electrons).

2. A neutron has a rest mass of 939.565378 MeV/c2, but I'm not aware of any experimental validation of gamma transmutation.

Re:More like Gamma-ray devices (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | 1 year,24 days | (#44994035)

Shouldn't the neutron be paired with something composed by its anti-quarks? If so, you'd need a photon with about 2TeV, what needs an accelerator at the "huge" end, not "lab-sized".

Also, that's not my area so I may be completely wrong, but it looks quite unlikely that you'll generate exactly 6 quarks with different color and barionic numbers, so that they can organize as a neutron.

Re:More like Gamma-ray devices (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44990009)

There are photoneutrons. If I recall correctly they are typically produced by high energy photons hitting deuterium. The neutron produced can go an activate material around it. For a nuclear reactor that has shut down, photoneutrons are the dominant form of source neutrons produced for a little while (the gammas come from beta decay which drops off over time).

Re:More like Gamma-ray devices (5, Informative)

profplump (309017) | 1 year,25 days | (#44989977)

The modern classification of x-ray vs. gamma-ray is based on the source of the emission (electron vs. nucleus), not the wavelength. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_difference_between_gamma_rays_and_X-rays [answers.com]

Re:More like Gamma-ray devices (2)

Zorpheus (857617) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990425)

Well, yes and no, it also depends on the field what term is used. Astronomers always name it gamma radiation, while physicists from the field of elementary particles and accelerators use the term gamma radiation only for radiation coming from the nucleus. X-ray radiation is used to specify the wavelength range, for any other source.

Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44991981)

Linking answer.com as if it was the consensus ? No. No. 1000 time no. Gamma ray and xray are not differentiated by their origin but solely by their frequencies. The problem is that around 100 keV there is no "distinct " definition of what is xray and what is gamma (contrast to green which we set defined as 520â"570 nm). So depending on the context somebody may say gamma for a 100 keV photon, and in another context another person might speak of 100keV xray BUT ONLY in that circumstance. But at 200keV or 50keV the origin does not matter , the first will *always* be named gamma, the later xray.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44993435)

You obviously haven't been around nuclear physicists arguing about the isomer of Thorium that has an excitation energy of 7.5 eV. The argument is about whether such a decay can happen on a human timescale, because it would produce an "ultraviolet gamma ray," a photon from nuclear decay well within the UV range.

It does depend a lot about which field you work in, in which case there places you can't say a 50 keV photon will always be called a gamma ray. Colbalt 57 has a standard peak at 14 keV that comes up in any undergrad lab class that does measures its spectrum, and is considered one of the gamma ray standards frequently used for calibration of equipment (or at least advertisement of dynamic range of some equipment...). And it is not uncommon to find gamma ray tables [lbl.gov] going down to 1 keV or below.

Re:Bullshit (1)

arobatino (46791) | 1 year,24 days | (#44993445)

Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] agrees that the distinction is usually made on source as opposed to energy, and points out that how it's done depends on the field of study (for example, in astronomy it's made based on energy since the source may be uncertain). Personally I think it should always be done based on energy alone and that these different fields should standardize on that.

Re:More like Gamma-ray devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44990549)

Who knows... But I think the idea of a free-electron laser becoming a whole lot smaller and possibly easier to build might have a lot of interesting uses. From various methods of scanning, to man-portable sized laser weapons able to put real holes in things, and being readily available for stuff like fusion experiments.

Positron Collider (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44989741)

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=positron collider ghostbusters&source=video&cd=2&ved=0CEMQtwIwAQ&url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0u8rI0JvaM&ei=fRZJUvKgKrfH4APvooGYDg&usg=AFQjCNFd57Ln6LW63fkg_kMK4KrSvlN0qw&bvm=bv.53217764,d.dmg

Re:Positron Collider (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44989969)

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=positron collider ghostbusters&source=video&cd=2&ved=0CEMQtwIwAQ&url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0u8rI0JvaM&ei=fRZJUvKgKrfH4APvooGYDg&usg=AFQjCNFd57Ln6LW63fkg_kMK4KrSvlN0qw&bvm=bv.53217764,d.dmg

...Connection lost

Re:Positron Collider (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44990221)

Riiiiiight, because anyone in their right mind is gonna click a random link ending in .dmg... Aka, a Mac disk image file, commonly used for distributing software.

Re:Positron Collider (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44990373)

No, you're just being paranoid, it's not a dmg file.

Re:Positron Collider (1)

narcc (412956) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990387)

Ignoring the rest of the URL, which clearly does not point to a .dmg file, just about everyone can safely "click" links that end in .dmg as a dramatic majority of users do not own a Mac.

Further, why would the few Macs users, having downloaded such a file, blindly execute its contents?

Really, the only people who could possibly be in danger from such a link would necessarily be both a Mac users and unimaginably incompetent.

Re:Positron Collider (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44991107)

Really, the only people who could possibly be in danger from such a link would necessarily be both a Mac users and unimaginably incompetent.

But I repeat myself...

Re:Positron Collider (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44992361)

>both a Mac users and unimaginably incompetent.

That's redundant.

Re:Positron Collider (2, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990471)

Riiiiiight, because anyone in their right mind is gonna click a random link ending in .dmg... Aka, a Mac disk image file, commonly used for distributing software.

Hey, if you think that it's diseased, don't mount it. Did you skip sex ed or something?

Re:Positron Collider (1)

MightyYar (622222) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990787)

Have you really never dissected a google url before??? This person clearly searched for "positron collider ghostbusters" and pasted the YouTube link that came up in the search results.

so we wasted a shit load of money on colliders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44989745)

so basically,

we should have waited before spending trillions on large colliders.

Re:so we wasted a shit load of money on colliders? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44989813)

Exactly! Just look at the powerful computers we have right now. We clearly shouldn't have wasted all the money on mechanical and tube computers and just waited until we got i7s. In fact, fuck it; let's stop all investment now and wait another fifty years when we'll have 512-core pocket computers.

Computers are commercially funded (1)

Ottibus (753944) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990275)

We clearly shouldn't have wasted all the money on mechanical and tube computers and just waited until we got i7s.

We didn't. Early computers were funded from commercial sources not taxation, and they had practical applications right from the start.

Re:Computers are commercially funded (2)

tburkhol (121842) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990599)

We didn't. Early computers were funded from commercial sources not taxation, and they had practical applications right from the start.

ENIAC was arguably the first general purpose electronic computer, and it was built for the US military (a wing of their government). Zuse's Z3 was arguably the first general purpose electric computer, and it was built for the German Air Ministry (a wing of their government). Of course, these devices are practical applications representing the culmination of centuries of prior basic research. The basics of electrical and electronic science was performed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, largely by aristocrats who could be considered to be functionally the government of the day, many of whom supported their work with the labor of their tenants, which was pretty nearly taxation at the time. It wasn't until the nineteenth century that practical applications (notably the telegraph) began to appear. Even after the point where commercial interests began to involve themselves, taxation and government programs continued to support development of technologies like transistors, network communication technologies, and photolithography.

Re:Computers are commercially funded (1)

Ottibus (753944) | 1 year,24 days | (#44991171)

ENIAC was arguably the first general purpose electronic computer, and it was built for the US military (a wing of their government).

You are right, there was a lot of government funding at the start of the computing era. But most of the work that took us from the Antikythera Mechanism to the modern 28nm processor was privately funded.

My point is that you can't compare the development of modern computers, which was mostly a commercial engineering process, with the advancement of particle physics, which is mostly a tax-funded scientific process. The money that might have been "wasted" on colliders is a different kind of money from that used to create the i7.

Re:so we wasted a shit load of money on colliders? (1)

tchdab1 (164848) | 1 year,25 days | (#44989859)

At this rate, in 50 years we'll be carrying them around and debating if personal linear-accelerator-guns are covered under the 2nd amendment.

Re:so we wasted a shit load of money on colliders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44989925)

This technology uses an infrared laser to power the accelerating section. As far as armament is concerned, there is no obvious reason to go to the trouble of making an electron beam weapon rather than just using this infrared laser itself as a weapon.

Re:so we wasted a shit load of money on colliders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44989993)

[...] there is no obvious reason to go to the trouble of making an electron beam weapon rather than just using this infrared laser itself as a weapon.

Well, can an infrared laser make home invaders radioactive?

can infrared laser make home invaders radioactive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44990357)

No it can't. Stuff doesn't just become radioactive.

Re:so we wasted a shit load of money on colliders? (1)

Chrontius (654879) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990099)

Aside from the relative difficulty shielding yourself from an electron beam with smoke. And the fact that electron beams won't blind everyone on the city block when the first trigger is pulled. And the fact that electron beams of sufficient charge look like lightning bolts

Re:so we wasted a shit load of money on colliders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44990395)

An electron beam weapon would be as dangerous to the operator as any target, not to mention the unsolved problem of how to get the electron beam out of the vacuum confinement required to accelerate it. It's not like electrons can go through glass, quartz or sapphire like light/xrays, then if you solve that, the electrons will be absorbed by the air, expect lightning.

Re:so we wasted a shit load of money on colliders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44990519)

So essentially what you're saying is that there is no way a pocket lightning gun would be totally awesome?

Re:so we wasted a shit load of money on colliders? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44991053)

Well, the path of least resistance to ground is probably going to be the person holding the pocket lightning gun which will severely limit the number of people who would be willing to pull the trigger.

It would be an awesome way to commit suicide, however, and I'm sure all the bystanders would be suitably impressed by the light show if you did it at night.

And my captcha for this post is 'physics'... how appropriate.

Re:so we wasted a shit load of money on colliders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44993977)

Well, the path of least resistance to ground is probably...

With a reasonably high energy beam of electrons, the electrons in the beam are not going to follow the normal sense of flowing down different paths based on resistance until they slow and are deposited somewhere. The source will build up a neat charge without a connection to ground that could be dangerous, although a chain dangling down to the ground would work in an environment with moist enough soil.

Re:so we wasted a shit load of money on colliders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44993925)

not to mention the unsolved problem of how to get the electron beam out of the vacuum confinement required to accelerate it.

Plasma windows [wikipedia.org] are being researched in large part to deal with this problem. A lot of people are interested in being able to do electron beam welding without the time and effort it takes to put the object to be welded into a vacuum.

Re:so we wasted a shit load of money on colliders? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990481)

At this rate, in 50 years we'll be carrying them around and debating if personal linear-accelerator-guns are covered under the 2nd amendment.

"The only way to stop a bad guy with a linear accelerator is a good guy with a linear accelerator. Or, um, a layer of lead, DU, tungsten, or some other fairly dense material, of appropriate thickness. Wait, did I mention lead? Where was I?"

Re:so we wasted a shit load of money on colliders? (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | 1 year,24 days | (#44993213)

Or distance.
The inverse square law provides the best shielding.

Re:so we wasted a shit load of money on colliders? (3, Interesting)

kwikrick (755625) | 1 year,25 days | (#44989985)

These new devices only accelerate electrons. For high energy physics research other particles need to be accelerated and collided, e,g, hadrons (hence the name Large Hadron Collider) It's unclear if the same tech can be used for other particles. Rubbish TFA.

Re:so we wasted a shit load of money on colliders? (4, Informative)

pz (113803) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990573)

If you read the article, you'll realize that there is a separate laser accelerator necessary BEFORE this chip, and then a second high-power IR laser necessary to drive the chip.

More-or-less, they've increased the efficiency of laser-based electron acceleration. Good on them, but the solution isn't, as the summary suggests by omission, just a small chip alone and nothing else.

More importantly for the parent (I know, I know, don't feed the trolls), the presented accelerator only accelerates electrons, and is intended as a gamma and x-ray source. That's very different from accelerating electrons and positrons to nearly the speed of light, or protons, or atomic nuclei, etc. To do high-energy physics, you need big, big accelerators. The device to accelerate a single subatomic particle to levels where it carries as much energy as a brick dropped on your foot, isn't going to be a crystal a few millimeters on a side.

Re:so we wasted a shit load of money on colliders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44991577)

That's very different from accelerating electrons and positrons to nearly the speed of light, or protons, or atomic nuclei, etc. To do high-energy physics, you need big, big accelerators.

And vacuum. This is a nifty little device, but you can't just chain them to get arbitrarily close to the speed of light, aside from other material-related issues you'll start leaking energy via Cherenkov radiation.

Re:so we wasted a shit load of money on colliders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44994679)

And after all these concerns, is the basic property of beam current...

Re:so we wasted a shit load of money on colliders? (2)

Alomex (148003) | 1 year,24 days | (#44991949)

Actually yes. Luis Alvarez, a Nobel Prize winning experimentalist argued extensively that large grants make experimentalists lazy. He joked that Michelson-Morley today would be done by launching antipodal satellites with expensive laser alignment hardware at the very low cost of $300 million.

Weaponize it (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44989881)

Finally we can build the fancy tiny guns depicted in MIB.

Military application (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44989911)

"Congrats soldier - at 100 feet this will fit in almost anything that floats or flies. Now weaponize it"

Something very important... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | 1 year,25 days | (#44989935)

This could lead to more compact accelerators and X-ray devices.

Just don't cross the streams. [wikipedia.org] It would be bad.

Re:Something very important... (1)

Thanatiel (445743) | 1 year,25 days | (#44989987)

I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, "bad"?

Re:Something very important... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | 1 year,24 days | (#44993195)

I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, "bad"?

Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.

[Or so I've heard.]

Re:Something very important... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44993931)

Total protonic reversal.

Re:Something very important... (1)

Thanatiel (445743) | 1 year,24 days | (#44993955)

Right. That's bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks fahrbot-bot

Foreseeable effects? (1)

AnotherAnonymousUser (972204) | 1 year,25 days | (#44989959)

Inquiring mind here, but are there any interesting gadgets or household revolutions that we foresee on the horizon, if this sort of tech is commonly available?

Re:Foreseeable effects? (0)

moteyalpha (1228680) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990043)

from TFS

developed an advanced accelerator technology smaller than a grain of rice

You can get rice that cooks itself and you too! In soviet America , rice cooks you!

Re:Foreseeable effects? (1, Informative)

Chrontius (654879) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990105)

Your microwave oven will probably become much more mass-efficient and somewhat more energy-efficient.

It might enable radars of similar size, cheap enough to mount in every air vent in your house and able to direct the chilled air at people; combined with similarly miniaturized heat sensors, you'll find yourself cooling off or warming up much more quickly after coming inside.

Re:Foreseeable effects? (1)

fa2k (881632) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990479)

The main problem is that electrons of such high energy produce X-rays when they smash into something (or are accelerated), and X-rays are dangerous. One could imagine home X-ray scanners, if we could get through the regulatory clusterfuck. Maybe one could make a weapon, if the beam intesity was ramped up by placing many of htese in parallel.

Particle physicists are planning the next thing after LHC, and it's a linear electron-positron collider. The device only claims to accelerate electrons to 1 GeV in the best case, however, and the "International Linear Collider requires more than 1 TeV beams

Re:Foreseeable effects? (1)

hughk (248126) | 1 year,24 days | (#44991745)

the "International Linear Collider requires more than 1 TeV beams

Is this because the LHC is wasting a lot of power with synchrotron radiation? The LHC is already running at about 3.5TeV/beam giving 7TeV collisions. With the upgrade, they should be able to manage 7TeV/beam.

Re:Foreseeable effects? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44993505)

Electron-positron collisions are a lot cleaner (no jets from glancing blows of quarks), and data analysis is more straightforward, so you can get more out of less energy. Although usually synchrotron losses make electron accelerates a net loss unless you have room and tech for a big linear one.

Real news: chips exist in only one dimension now (0)

YoungManKlaus (2773165) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990015)

"3mm" ... nuf said

Re:Real news: chips exist in only one dimension no (1)

drwho (4190) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990947)

yeah, it's 1/3 the size of a 9mm bullet.

Re:Real news: chips exist in only one dimension no (1)

YoungManKlaus (2773165) | 1 year,24 days | (#44992207)

is that the diameter, the radius or the length?

this is for cheap proton therapy (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44990017)

The US govt is interested in getting cheap proton therapy machines. Instead of cutting a human open with an expensive surgeon to remove a tumor, the computer controlled proton beam can blast through the skin, and strike the tumor. So yes, this is going to get lots of govt funding. Gains in particle accelerators are merely incidental.

Re:this is for cheap proton therapy (1)

HiThere (15173) | 1 year,24 days | (#44994475)

Proton? But this is an electron accellerator. You could use it to feed a proton accelerator, I suppose....but it wouldn't be simple.

Better to build something analogous and feed it with hydrogen ions. Also note that it requires a preheater stage, and that protons don't have synchroton radiation. So anything analogous is going to be QUITE difficult. (OTOH, protons don't need a linear accelerator, they can use rings.)

Actually, I think nothing even analogous would work for protons. And even doing it with positrons would be diffucult, as this isn't being done in a vacuum, so you'd get anihilizations. It's probably only good for electrons...though you could (and must, if I understand correctly) use it as input to another process. And you also need a pre-processor stage that genertes the stuff you feed the chip.

P.S.: As has been pointed out, you can't link the chips in series, or at least not much, because you start running into energies where the electrons smash matter rather than going through it, but you should be able to gang them in parallel, to generate a more intense beam.

Mmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44990405)

Someone ordered a particle beam weapon?

weapons (2)

tommeke100 (755660) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990659)

> "This could lead to more compact accelerators and X-ray devices."

...and weapons.

LHC@Home (1, Funny)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990845)

Why spend 8 billion Euro on something that will be in every kid's room in 5 years? I fully expect "My First Large Hadron Collider" from Fisher Price in a few years so that kids can make their own micro-singularities and find out how meaningless the "God Particle" actually is for themselves.

Re:LHC@Home (1)

artfulshrapnel (1893096) | 1 year,24 days | (#44991291)

Because unless you spend 8 billion on it the first time it never gets to be a children's toy. That 8 billion is the initial investment in these things being commonplace enough to use as cat toys. (If you for some reason want to irradiate kitty's bones, I guess....)

Re:LHC@Home (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44991545)

That's not really true, though.

For instance, the GPU in the PS4 hits 1.84TFLOPS peak. This is direct evolution from earlier DX10-class hardware, which was an evolution from DX9-class hardware, which was an evolution from DX7-class hardware, which was an evolution from the early 3D cards, which were an evolution from the 486 (software rendering), which was an evolution from the 8086, which was an evolution from the 4004. The driving forces were a large enough consumer market and Moore's law.

The first computer to hit this speed was a purpose-built supercomputer built for Sandia National Laboratories. This used regular PentiumPro CPUs, but the system design is an evolutionary dead end as far as consumer-level TFLOPS machines are concerned.

This machine could have never existed but we'd still have the modern "children's toys" hitting a TFLOPS. That's just the direction children's toys went.

Re:LHC@Home (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44995891)

But where do you go from there? For the kid who has everything, I mean, what do you get them next Christmas? Maybe a "My First Black H

Antimatter factories (1)

drwho (4190) | 1 year,25 days | (#44990941)

If these cold be produced in large quantities and were cheap enough, I wonder how well we could progress in the creation of antimatter. If we could do so, and could improve the penning trap so that the antimatter could be kept for a long time, then many problems with space travel would be solved.

Re:Antimatter factories (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44991459)

You only get as much antimatter as energy you put in (well half actually, as the other half makes matter), and you only get out as much energy as antimatter+matter that you chuck into the engines. Artificially-produced antimatter would be an extremely dense energy-storage system (i.e. battery), but it wouldn’t be a miracle energy source for the space-age unless we can find and harvest naturally occurring sources.

Re:Antimatter factories (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | 1 year,24 days | (#44994127)

Take a look at how rocket weight decreases with the energy density of the fuel*, and then read your post again.

* No link. Sorry, but I won't go out of my way to digg one for a random A/C. Try googling something like "rocket equation", and reading the relevant Wikipedia articles. You'll find it if you bother searching.

Re:Antimatter factories (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44995351)

Energy is pretty cheap if you had an orbital solar facility or small scale nuclear reactors. Its the conversion and distribution system where the waste comes in and anti-matter generation and recombination would make up for a lot of that loss.

Phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44991091)

When can I get one in my phone?

Channelling is not a new idea (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | 1 year,24 days | (#44991649)

I read a PhD dissertation and was instructed by a professor working on the idea of using chanelling in crystal material to accelerate particles. What was not included then was the addition of lasers. That was the mid 1980s.

Re:Channelling is not a new idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44995121)

You were supposed to figure that out.

First step towards a functioning phaser? (1)

mmell (832646) | 1 year,24 days | (#44992805)

Yes, I know - made-up technobabble straight out of the sixties - but the FX were killer for the day, and I wants one. This looks like a fairly portable source of high energy plasma to me, a necessary first step. Not much of it, but we can work on that later.

Won't scale (3, Insightful)

Chalnoth (1334923) | 1 year,24 days | (#44993279)

At least, it won't scale in the way the article suggests.

It's possible that the tech involved might make for a more efficient acceleration mechanism than the current superconducting electromagnets, but I sincerely doubt it will lead to significantly smaller accelerators: accelerators are large not because it isn't possible to accelerate the electrons in a shorter distance, but because it's extremely inefficient to do so.

Large accelerators are limited by the fact that rapid accelerations of charged particles cause lots of radiation to be emitted. The amount of radiation emitted increases dramatically as the particles approach the speed of light, making it harder and harder to push the particles faster (or even just to keep them going at speed in a ring for circular accelerators). Even if this mechanism of electron acceleration is a hundred-fold more efficient energetically than the SLAC accelerator, it still couldn't accelerate electrons to SLAC speeds in 100 feet, because it would need vastly higher acceleration and that higher acceleration would lead to lots of radiation, limiting the pace of acceleration. Personally, I doubt it's 100 times more efficient. I bet most of that efficiency difference comes from this small device not operating on electrons moving anywhere near the speed of light.

Kraftwerk... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44993787)

... I'm the operator of my pocket accelerator.

OT: redirect to MoboMarket.apk on first link (1)

sten ben (1652107) | 1 year,24 days | (#44994921)

Opening the first link in a new tab led me to get redirected to http://a.ldowi.com/click/?s=108520&c=923468&subid=2 [ldowi.com] , which seems to be a "MoboMarket.apk" file. Anyone else?
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