Standard Article

Linear Accelerators

  1. Robert Jameson1,
  2. Joseph Bisognano2,
  3. Pierre Lapostolle3

Published Online: 28 APR 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9783527600434.eap001.pub3

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

How to Cite

Jameson, R., Bisognano, J. and Lapostolle, P. 2014. Linear Accelerators. Encyclopedia of Applied Physics. 123–158.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Goethe University Frankfurt, Institute of Applied Physics, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

  2. 2

    University of Wisconsin-Madison, Engineering Physics Department and Synchroton Radiation Center, Stoughton, WI, USA

  3. 3

    Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 APR 2014


Linear accelerators, in which particles are accelerated along a straight path, are a fundamental tool for a perhaps surprisingly wide variety of practical and research applications that affect our daily lives, as a source of energetic particles in equipment for medical, biological, and industrial applications, including dental X-rays, industrial irradiation, radiotherapy, medical tool sterilization, food conservation, and baggage inspection, and provide intense beams of neutrons or photons for use in condensed matter, materials, and biological sciences and applications. In the future, LINACs will enable methods to deal with radioactive waste and other societally important applications. The general principles, brief history, and overview of the various types of linear accelerators are outlined in this chapter.


  • LINACs ;
  • electron accelerators;
  • proton accelerators;
  • AG focusing;
  • equipartition;
  • radiofrequency;
  • linear accelerators;
  • heavy ion accelerators;
  • accelerator applications;
  • radioactive waste