linear accelerator

linear accelerator

noun Physics.
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.
Also called linac.


Origin:
1930–35

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World English Dictionary
linear accelerator
 
n
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

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

linear accelerator n.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
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.
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Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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