Powering a particle accelerator

ISIS Neutron and Muon Source

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Power to the protons

How do you power a particle accelerator firing beams of protons 50 times a second into a heavy metal target? The ISIS neutron and muon source provides a near constant stream of particles for a huge range of research uses. Take a look at what it takes to keep a decades-old particle accelerator running.

Building up enough power in a proton beam to pull neutrons out of atoms requires a huge amount of energy. To efficiently power the machines, the research facility at ISIS relies on a custom electrical system that uses a resonance circuit to establish the strong magnetic fields needed many times per second. This system, however, is built in-part around rigid technology that was inherited from a previous machine when ISIS was built. We take a look at the major engineering project to upgrade the power system of a particle accelerator, and see what it takes to keep control of a machine this complex.

ISIS is owned and operated by the UK government, through the Science and Technology Facilities Council, as a major resource and facility for UK researchers.

This video is supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.


Engineering, Space & Time, Technology


Oxford, UK
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Particle accelerators for humanity

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