Particle Accelerator for Thrust
Date: Around 1993
I recently had to design a space station for a project. I used a
particle accelerator to produce thrust. What I would like to know is whether
or not this idea, strange though it may be, is feasible.
It is certainly feasible, at least in that it is something that
could be used to provide thrust. I think something similar to this is the
idea behind the so-called ion propulsion systems. Basically, the faster you
can get your propellant going, the faster you can go, so particle accelerators
would be great for getting up near the speed of light, for example. However,
a key question is efficiency. In order to get anything up into space takes a
lot of energy, and if your design is not too efficient, you would be wasting a
lot of power.
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Update: June 2012