First Bizarre '3mm Chip' Could Revolutionize Time-and-Space Ten Times Faster
Scientists have invented a most advanced accelerator technology smaller than a grain of rice. It can boost electrons up to speeds 10 times faster than present-day conventional technology.
Physicists and engineers at the United States Department of Energy's (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University described their glass chip accelerator research in a study in the journal Nature.
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These power boosters offer an extraordinary level of acceleration, clocking in 300 million electron volts per meter. By comparison, that is around 10 times faster than that of the SLAC linear accelerator, which requires two miles to match what the tiny chip accelerators can do in 100 feet.
Researchers have used commercial lasers to speed up the electrons instead of microwaves, which are typically used. They were amazed to see an incredible acceleration in such small distances.
The device is three millimeters long. The advantage is cost. Since this tiny device is made with a laser, it can be mass-produced.
This development makes a particle accelerator available to any lab for a few thousand dollars rather than the billions of dollars that a present day conventional technology costs.
Developers will soon use these chips in medical therapy and imaging, materials science, biological research, security scanning, and physics.
Joel England, the SLAC physicist who led the experiments said: "We still have a number of challenges before this technology becomes practical for real-world use, but eventually it would substantially reduce the size and cost of future high-energy particle colliders for exploring the world of fundamental particles and forces."
"It could also help enable compact accelerators and X-ray devices for security scanning, medical therapy and imaging, and research in biology and materials science."
Possible in the future, this device will be used to create and study microscopic black holes and other experiments planned at CERN and other benefits at a highly accelerated rate with much lower cost.