Accelerators as tools for discovery, innovation, and everyday life
A particle accelerator is an instrument that produces a directional stream of electrically charged particles, usually electrons or protons and boosts the energy of this beam. Particle beams are used for many kinds of research, but also for medical and industrial applications. Large particle accelerator facilities such as the Large Hardron Collider (LHC) operate in many National Laboratories in the United States and around the world. However, the majority of operating accelerators are neither big nor famous. About 10,000 cancer patients are treated every day in the United States with beams for accelerators. Accelerators produce short-lived radioisotopes that are used in over 10 million diagnostic medical procedures and 100 million laboratory tests every year. The multi-billion-dollar semiconductor industry relies on ion beams from accelerators to add atoms in semiconductors. Lithography with intense beams etches microchips for semiconductor devices. Accelerators are used for accurate nondestructive dating of archeological samples and art objects, for unraveling DNA structure, and provide promising potential avenues towards solving energy problems. At Los Alamos National Laboratory we use accelerators, big and small, to solve National Security issues. This talk will introduce the basic principles of particle acceleration and explain how accelerators work. It will also give an overview of many applications of accelerators.
Dr. Evgenya I. Simakov is a Physicist at the Accelerators Operations and Technology division in Los Alamos National Laboratory. Dr. Simakov received her Ph.D. degree in Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA in 2005. She came to Los Alamos as a visiting student in 2003 to work on the design and cold testing of a Photonic band gap accelerator as a part of her Ph.D. work. In 2005 she joined LANL as a Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow and became a staff member in 2007. Her current research interests include advanced electromagnetic structures for accelerators, high gradient acceleration, novel cathodes, and advanced electromagnetic structures from low GHz frequencies to infrared. She served and serves as a principle investigator on a number of the advanced accelerator projects funded by LANL, DOE HEP, and DOD. Dr. Simakov is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Senior Member of IEEE, and a recipient of several awards including the 2010th DOE Recovery Act Early Career Research Grant, the 2011 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.