an accelerator in which particles are propelled in straight paths by the use of alternating electric voltages that are timed in such a way that the particles receive increasing increments of energy.
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Origin of linear accelerator
First recorded in 1930–35
Also called linac.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for linear accelerator
an accelerator in which charged particles are accelerated along a linear path by potential differences applied to a number of electrodes along their pathSometimes shortened to: linac
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Medicine definitions for linear accelerator
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.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Science definitions for 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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.