Paul Stanley
July 02, 2019

The accelerator generates a beam

The 500 keV Van de Graaff particle accelerator generated a proton beam that was caught on video as it excited the quartz window constructed by Beloit students.
  • Quartz Window to beam

Students and faculty first started constructing the 500 keV Van de Graaff particle accelerator in the late 1970’s.  As the device is home made, each part has been designed and fabricated in the physics department’s machine shop.  The high vacuum system has been modified and upgraded at least twice; the charging belt has been replaced three times; and the source electronics, originally monitored via analog meters, have been updated to DAQ connected via fiber optics.  Visual evidence of a beam was first observed when it struck a newly installed quartz window.

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