Canada's National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics Laboratoire national canadien pour la recherche en physique nucléaire et en physique des particules

Former Student Builds Mini Accelerator

02 April 2012

With TRIUMF immersed in building a fully functioning electron accelerator by 2014 or so, it is rather ironic that one of our former co-op students, Nick Zacchia, beat us to the punch. Nick Zacchia and his teammates from Concordia University recently built a very small, though entirely functional electron accelerator as the Capstone project for their Mechanical Engineering degree. What makes this so impressive is that no one expected it to work as well as it did, or at all. Nick recalled that, while he was in Vancouver working at TRIUMF, the rest of his Capstone team was trawling the Concordia campus, seeing if professors had anything in particular that they wanted built. “[My teammates] were talking to a professor and he said, ‘Okay, I’ve got this project or that project or, if you’re feeling really ambitious, I’ve got this crazy idea about building an electron accelerator, if you guys are interested.’” They were. Nick added that, “it was one of those dreams [the professor] had been hoping for, but never had the funding, and he figured, ‘let’s see if these kids can do it.’” Six months later, it turned out that they could.