Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Particle Accelerators
Name: Unknown
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1993

I recently watched a video on particle accelerators. The video stated that a "special alloy" was involved with the high-vacuum storage ring. Can you give me information on the special alloy?

I think the reason they need a special alloy for high vacuum is that ordinary iron or steel is very porous to some molecules - particularly hydrogen. Since particle accelerators usually produce small nuclei, like protons,the problem could be that a steel liner would absorb all this hydrogen, and let some of it out gradually, and they could never get it all out without pumping for ages.

A. Smith

Click here to return to the Physics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory