This tiny chip may not look like much but it is in fact very, very powerful. This is a nano fabricated chip made from fused silica and it is capable of boosting electrons at a rate that is ten times faster than conventional accelerators. According to the September 2013 press release from the National Accelerator Labratory this tiny chip could in fact match the accelerating power of SLAC's existing two mile long linear accelerator and deliver deliver a million more pulses per second at a length of only 100 feet. This miniscule chip is smaller than a grain of rice, yet it could be used to revolutionize scientific and medical equipment. There are also many other ways in which it could be used.
Most accelerators that are currently in use employ microwaves to boost the energy of electrons. This technique is not very economical and researchers have been searching for an alternative. The new 'Accelerator on a Chip' is definitely a leading candidate. Possible uses for the chip include more affordable x-ray imaging in hospitals and the possibility of developing portable, compact x-ray sources. Stanford graduate students Ken Soong and Edgar Peralta were the lead authors in the study and Edgar Peralta created the chips in the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility. SLAC is operated by the Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.