U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Industrial Applications of Accelerators

Sponsoring University:

Michigan State University

Course Name:

Industrial Applications of Accelerators


William Barletta, MIT/USPAS/Fermilab

Purpose and Audience
This course is an introduction uses of accelerators in economically important industrial applications.

Upper division undergraduate courses in electromagnetism (at the level of "Introduction to Electrodynamics" by David J. Griffiths) and in modern physics (relativity solid state physics and quantum mechanics).

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that he or she meets the course prerequisites or has equivalent experience.

This class will introduce students to the primary ways in which accelerators are used in industrial processes. It aims to explain the physical, technological, and economic factors that an inventor or entrepreneur should include to assess the practicality of using accelerators as part of an industrial process.

Instructional Method
The course consists of lectures in both morning (3 hrs. per class day), and afternoon sessions (2 hrs. per class day). In addition, the afternoon sessions will include case studies of designing accelerators to be used in industry or in research and characterization facilities used by industries.

Course Content
Accelerators are used in a wide range of industrial processes with an economic value of several tens of billions of dollars annually in the U.S. alone.  These applications include semi-conductor manufacturing, polymer cross-linking, sterilization and de-infestation, non-destructive testing, and material identification and assaying. The types of accelerators include electron and ion machine with energies ranging from hundreds of keV to several GeV. 

The course will cover the basic physics of the underlying processes that govern several important industrial processes. From the physics or chemistry requirements, the course will derive the requisite beam characteristics to implement the application in an energy efficient and cost effective manner.  The beam characteristics will then be used to identify, characterize and compare potential candidate accelerators for the industrial user.

Reading Requirements
(to be provided by the USPAS) "Industrial Accelerators and Their Applications" by Robert W. and Marianne E. Hamm, World Scientific publishers (2012).

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated based on homework and case study assignments (60%), and final exam (40%).

Michigan State University course number:
Indiana University course number: Physics 671, Advanced Topics in Accelerator Physics
MIT course number: 8.790, Accelerator Physics