[ExI] Accelerator on a Chip: How It Works

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Sun Sep 29 15:45:50 UTC 2013

On Sun, Sep 29, 2013 at 5:26 AM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V89qvy8whxY<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V89qvy8whxY>
>> Original paper at http://arxiv.org/abs/1308.0464
> > So if one can accelerate electrons to 50 GeV in 100 feet, that means a
> one meter chip would presumably get you 500 MeV(linear increase in energy
> by length). The paper merely claims 25 MeV/m, but 25 MeV is still a pretty
> penetrating beam.

They make a rather interesting comment on that subject:

"After writing of the manuscript we became aware of a recently proposed
innovative scheme combining plasma based acceleration with the periodic
field reversal at grating structures, which may lead to scalable
accelerators with a sustained acceleration gradient up to TeV/m "

That paper is at:


And in that paper they say:

"In our simulations, we show that a sustained acceleration rate of 2.3
TeV/m is feasible with the plasma structures."

> I don't think this design lends itself to firing a lot of electrons

I would think you could have an array of accelerator channels spaced
exactly one wavelength apart in the vertical direction.

> as a particle beam weapon (efficiency of energy transfer from the laser
> into the electrons will still  be low; you could just fire the laser at the
> target)

I agree, I don't think electron beams would make much of a weapon, but who
knows, weapon makers can be ingenious.

 > but as they say, this is a good electron source for free-electron X-ray
> lasers.

And cheap practical X-ray lasers could have profound implications for
microchip manufacturing, and phase contrast X-ray imaging, and yes perhaps

  John K Clark
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