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July 12, 2020, 08:56:17 am

Author Topic: Heinemann Pearson Physics textbook - error (pg. 357)  (Read 587 times)  Share 

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Richard Feynman 101

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Heinemann Pearson Physics textbook - error (pg. 357)
« on: August 25, 2018, 04:15:39 pm »
On page 357 titled "synchrotron light," the first sentence is incorrect. "A synchrotron is a machine that uses powerful magnets to accelerate charged
particles, usually electrons, to velocities close to the speed of light." This statement is incorrect and would not be awarded marks in the VCAA exam.

A synchrotron is when a charged (usually subatomic) particle, such as an electron is accelerated to very high energies which are done by an alternating electric field in a circular orbit by a magnetic field. It is the magnetic field that bends the path of the charged particle in order to maintain a constant circular path (trajectory).

Therefore, it is incorrect to say that "powerful magnets accelerate charged electrons" is it the alternating charged electric field that produces accelerate charged particle and the powerful magnets just steer the electrons.


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Re: Heinemann Pearson Physics textbook - error (pg. 357)
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2018, 11:30:09 pm »
Yeah, I'd agree with you. That sentence by itself is not accurate. A synchrotron is just a type of particle accelerator. Every accelerator has a goal of accelerating particles. That isn't specific to a synchrotron. And as you said, the acceleration isn't primarily done by magnets/magnetic fields anyway. The distinguishing feature of a synchrotron is the synchrotron radiation produced charged particles moving in circular paths. The time-varying magnetic fields achieve this.
2016 - 2019: Bachelor of Science Advanced - Research (Honours) [Physics and Mathematics] @ Monash University