'Virtual Gap' Dielectric-wall tube accelerator.

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Chris Bradley
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'Virtual Gap' Dielectric-wall tube accelerator.

Post by Chris Bradley » Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:20 pm

This is a patent application I just came across. I wonder if it might be accessible at the 'amateur' level:



A virtual, moving accelerating gap is formed along an insulating tube in a dielectric wall accelerator (DWA) by locally controlling the conductivity of the tube. Localized voltage concentration is thus achieved by sequential activation of a variable resistive tube or stalk down the axis of an inductive voltage adder, producing a "virtual" traveling wave along the tube. The tube conductivity can be controlled at a desired location, which can be moved at a desired rate, by light illumination, or by photoconductive switches, or by other means. As a result, an impressed voltage along the tube appears predominantly over a local region, the virtual gap. By making the length of the tube large in comparison to the virtual gap length, the effective gain of the accelerator can be made very large.

[0006] In a conventional induction accelerator, the beam pipe is conducting, so that an accelerating electric field is present only in the gaps between accelerator stages. Thus the accelerating field occupies only a relatively small fraction of the axial length of an accelerator cell.

[0007] In a dielectric wall accelerator (DWA), an insulating wall replaces the conducting beam pipe. The dielectric wall is energized by a pulsed power system. The accelerating fields can then be applied uniformly over the entire length of the accelerator, yielding a much higher gradient, e.g. 20 MeV/m or more, compared to about 0.75 MeV/m. A high gradient DWA can thus be made much more compact than a comparable conventional induction accelerator.

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