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Whoa: Particle Accelerators Go Micro at Lawrence Lab

Posted By Alex Bigman On Jul 4, 2009 @ 4:28 pm In Sci/Tech | Comments Disabled

moonraker

You science-y people will understand this–the rest of us will dream up outlandishly awesome but completely unfounded visions ofStar Wars”-esque laser battles. Brace yourselves: Particle accelerators [1] are going micro, at least if the BELLA team at our trusty Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have anything to say about it. They’re working on condensing the gargantuan physics instruments into a “desktop” form that will shoot particles inches, not miles. Take what you will from this mumbo jumbo [2]:

Lasers, check. The BELLA device-in-progress uses them to accelerate particles to the speed of light in a matter of inches. Don’t point that thing at us, buddy.

Our favorite sugar-daddy, check. The BELLA crew gets its funding from President Obama’s stimulus money [3], a la the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. $20 million is the total and nothing to scoff at.

Good, old fashioned, friendly international technology race, check. Our boys (and girls?) at the Lawrence Lab are racing against European and Chinese teams who are hoping to nab the first desktop accelerator. The Clog sends BELLA our unshakable confidence and support. As long as the Ruskies don’t get to it first, we’ll all be fine.

Image Source: Neonbubble [4] under Creative Commons.
Berkeley Lab Builds a Desktop Particle Accelerator [Pop Sci [2]]


Article printed from The Daily Clog: http://clog.dailycal.org

URL to article: http://clog.dailycal.org/2009/07/04/woah-particle-accelerators-go-micro-at-lawrence-lab/

URLs in this post:

[1] Particle accelerators: http://www.popsci.com/scitech/gallery/2009-06/particle-accelerators

[2] this mumbo jumbo: http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2009-06/berkeley-lab-building-desktop-particle-accelerator?page=

[3] stimulus money: http://clog.dailycal.org/2009/05/02/obamas-budget-shoots-some-bulky-wads-of-stimulus-dough-our-way/

[4] Neonbubble: http://www.flickr.com/photos/neonbubble/

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