Design, Construction of a Small Electron Accelerator

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Thomson, Stephen
Lloyd, Phillip
Yuly, Mark
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Houghton College
The Houghton College electrostatic electron accelerator uses a small Van de Graaff generator and an accelerator column made from alternating high-density polyethylene and aluminum rings to create a uniform electric field. The accelerator column is evacuated to about 10-6 torr by a rotary forepump and a diffusion pump. To produce the electrons, an electron gun made from a 3RP1 CRT is located inside the high voltage terminal. The electrodes of the electron gun require user-controlled voltages for the anode, focus and intensity grids. Since the gun is located in the HV terminal, a microcontroller/amplifier circuit was designed to produce the required voltages and communicate with the user via a non-conducting, fiber optic RS232 link. The remote control system has been tested on the electron gun attached to the vacuum system.
XXVIII Annual Rochester Symposium for Physics Students, US Military Academy at West Point, West Point, NY, April 4, 2009.
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