|Sometimes shortened to: linac an accelerator in which charged particles are accelerated along a linear path by potential differences applied to a number of electrodes along their path|
linear accelerator n.
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.