particle accelerator definition

  • noun:
    • a tool, such as for instance a cyclotron or linear accelerator, that accelerates recharged subatomic particles or nuclei to large energies. Also called atom smasher.
    • a computer device that accelerates electrically charged particles to extremely high speeds, for the intended purpose of inducing high-energy reactions or producing high energy radiation.
    • a sizable and expensive clinical tool used by physicists to speed up primary particles (such as for instance protons or electrons) to speeds near that light, for the intended purpose of examining the fundamental properties of matter; sometimes also called an atom smasher, considering that the particles therefore accelerated tend to be directed at goals of atoms which are fragmented by the impact within their more fundamental element particles.
    • a scientific instrument that advances the kinetic energy of charged particles

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