Stanford University and SLAC have created a mini particle accelerator. It fits on a computer silicon chip. Yes, you read that well. A scientific instrument of nearly 2 miles long has been scaled down to the size of a chip.
The news story of this silicon chip that can accelerate electrons using an infrared laser "in less than a hair's width" was published today by Phys.org. This chip will be used for medical research and other research. Imagine this technology a few decades from now. A small portable particle accelerator that can create a vacuum type of field around you, accelerate electrons and other particles and perhaps open some kind of portal, to another time or dimension.
Perhaps you know about the rumors regarding the LHC experiments, strange things to conCERN. Imagine a CERN machine the size of a briefcase. Maybe in the future it will be called: The Portavoy? Portable Voyager. Let's leave the sci-fi fantasies for now and continue with the down to earth report on the portable article accelerator.
Researchers build a particle accelerator that fits on a chip
Writing in the Jan. 3 issue of Science, a team led by electrical engineer Jelena Vuckovic explained how they carved a nanoscale channel out of silicon, sealed it
in a vacuum and sent electrons through this cavity while pulses of infrared light—to which silicon is as transparent as glass is to visible light—were transmitted
by the channel walls to speed the electrons along.
The accelerator-on-a-chip demonstrated in Science is just a prototype, but Vuckovic said its design and fabrication techniques can be scaled up to deliver particle
beams accelerated enough to perform cutting-edge experiments in chemistry, materials science and biological discovery that don't require the power of a massive
Source: phys.org - 1.2.2020