Another interesting accelerator, known
as the Betatron, was developed in the early 1940s by a man name Donald
Kerst at the University of Illinois. Kersts Betatron is used to accelerate
electrons (beta particles) to produce high energy x-radiation. The first Betatron
developed produced a radiation energy of a little more than 2 MeV. Continued
development allowed the Betatron to generate energies as high as 300 MeV.
The Betatron operates on the principle of the transformer. The primary side consists of a large electromagnet, and the secondary side is the electron stream that is being accelerated. The electrons are accelerated in a circular tube known as a doughnut that has been evacuated. When the electrons have achieved maximum energy, they are directed to a target, the resulting interaction is the production of high energy X-rays.
Close this window when you are finished reading.