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An Amateur Synchrotron?

Why a synchrotron?

Numerous other particle accelerators have been built on a small scale. Linear accelerators are easily constructable; the simplest ones are essentially a long tube with a high voltage terminal at the end. Cyclotrons have been built before. They're demonstratably within reach of an engaged high school student to build.

In either case, there's been a road laid down: a high school student building a linac or cyclotron can easily find cusory guidelines on how to build the accelerator of their choice, with tips and advice from previous projects. The road has been well tread.

I'd like to try something new. I want to go out on a limb and push the limits of complexity. An amateur synchrotron is something that hasn't been constructed yet (to my knowledge), if only because they seem like enormous, power-guzzling, black-hole generating machines. People have an impression that synchrotrons only exist in the mile-wide variety, and that to build one takes an international committee and billions of dollars.

It's fresh snow for an amateur to walk upon, without a clear path to follow. Building a small-scale synchrotron is akin to trekking into the wilderness of the unknown, where only a few people can guide you: it's a little like an intellectual treasure hunt.

Plus, it's fun to build things that appear crazy to the public. Just because something has the word "nuclear" in its name doesn't mean it's dangerous. I'd like to disprove the stereotype that amateur physics will cause cancer in your backyard and hurt everybody in its vicinity. It's possible to do 'real physics' at home, without endangering others.

Other people build model boats in their spare time. Me? I just happen to like physics and particle accelerators.