Radiological Training for Accelerator Facilities
In the cyclotron, magnets guide the particle
along a spiral path, allowing a single electric
field to apply many cycles of acceleration.
Soon unprecedented energies were achieved,
and the steady improvement of Lawrence's
simple machine has led to today's
synchrotrons, whose endless circular flight
paths allow particles to gain huge energies by
passing millions of times through the electric
fields that accelerate them.
A synchrotron accelerates particles using electric fields
over and over in a circular path. Magnetic fields are
used to bend the particles' trajectories and keep them
moving in a circle. The accelerated particles lose
energy rounding the curves, so energy must be
continuously supplied. The beam is extracted heading
toward targets and detectors.
Until 30 years ago, all accelerators were so-called
fixed-target machines in which the speeding particle
beam was made to hit a stationary target of some