A brief history of high power RF proton linear accelerators

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The first mention of linear acceleration was in a paper by G. Ising in 1924 in which he postulated the acceleration of positive ions induced by spark discharges which produced electric fields in gaps between a series of {open_quotes}drift tubes{close_quotes}. Ising apparently was not able to demonstrate his concept, most likely due to the limited state of electronic devices. Ising`s work was followed by a seminal paper by R. Wideroe in 1928 in which he demonstrated the first linear accelerator. Wideroe was able to accelerate sodium or potassium ions to 50 keV of energy using drift tubes connected alternately to ... continued below

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11 p.

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Browne, J.C. December 31, 1996.

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The first mention of linear acceleration was in a paper by G. Ising in 1924 in which he postulated the acceleration of positive ions induced by spark discharges which produced electric fields in gaps between a series of {open_quotes}drift tubes{close_quotes}. Ising apparently was not able to demonstrate his concept, most likely due to the limited state of electronic devices. Ising`s work was followed by a seminal paper by R. Wideroe in 1928 in which he demonstrated the first linear accelerator. Wideroe was able to accelerate sodium or potassium ions to 50 keV of energy using drift tubes connected alternately to high frequency waves and to ground. Nuclear physics during this period was interested in accelerating protons, deuterons, electrons and alpha particles and not heavy ions like sodium or potassium. To accelerate the light ions required much higher frequencies than available at that time. So linear accelerators were not pursued heavily at that time. Research continued during the 1930s but the development of high frequency RF tubes for radar applications in World War 2 opened the potential for RF linear accelerators after the war. The Berkeley laboratory of E. 0. Lawrence under the leadership of Luis Alvarez developed a new linear proton accelerator concept that utilized drift tubes that required a full RF period to pass through as compared to the earlier concepts. This development resulted in the historic Berkeley 32 MeV proton linear accelerator which incorporated the {open_quotes}Alvarez drift tube{close_quotes} as the basic acceleration scheme using surplus 200 MHz radar components.

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11 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE97001699

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  • Symposium on the Savannah River Accelerator project and complementary spallation neutron sources, Columbia, SC (United States), 14-15 May 1996

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  • Other: DE97001699
  • Report No.: LA-UR--96-3664
  • Report No.: CONF-9605223--5
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 475578
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc679270

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  • December 31, 1996

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  • July 25, 2015, 2:21 a.m.

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  • Feb. 25, 2016, 1:52 p.m.

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Browne, J.C. A brief history of high power RF proton linear accelerators, article, December 31, 1996; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc679270/: accessed December 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.