Slim beams

Published: Tuesday 31 December 1996

Particle physicists are planning to make the largest linear accelerator called the Next Linear Collider (NLC), which, though not as powerful as the Large Hadron Collider, will complement it. Most colliders in the world are circular accelerators where the beams of particles are bent using huge magnets. This process makes it hard to have a narrow and well-focussed beam. Linear accelerators do not have to bend the beam and hence can have extremely narrow beams of particles. Though many important design issues are yet to be decided, scientists hope to have the NLC started early next century (Science, Vol 272, No 5283).

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