It is called a linear accelerator because it accelerates particles in a straight line.
An early model of the linear accelerator also gave a beam of heavy positive ions at high energies.
linear accelerator n.
An electron, a proton, or a heavy-ion accelerator in which the paths of the particles accelerated are essentially straight lines rather than circles or spirals.
A device that produces high energy photons (x-rays) on charged particles for use in radiation therapy.
|linear accelerator |
A type of particle accelerator that accelerates charged subatomic particles, such as protons and electrons, in a straight line by means of alternating negative and positive impulses from electric fields. Linear accelerators were largely supplanted by cyclotrons and other architectures that require less path length to achieve the same or higher particle velocities. See Note at particle accelerator.