Particle Accelerator Radiation
Name: Garrick G.
I am doing a report on Particle Accelerators for my
Chemistry class and I have found they produce radiation, but no one has
said exactly why they produce radiation. I would really appreciate
clarification on this.
The type of radiation emitted depends on the type of particle
accelerator. For example, in order to characterize the chemical composition
of a sample, I have used an accelerator that bombards the sample with alpha
particles. These alpha particles cause atoms on the sample surface to change
into radioactive elements, and these emit neutrons.
I think that what you meant by your question, however, was something
different. The short answer is that, according to the laws of
electromagnetism, a charged particle that is undergoes acceleration or
deceleration emits electromagetic radiation. This is how an antenna works.
The electrons in the antenna are made to vibrate (oscillate back and forth),
and therefore undergo acceleration and deceleration. The result is that
electromagnetic radiation is produced, sending a signal (a radio signal, for
example), into the air, to be received by your radio receiver.
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Update: June 2012