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Question
Hey I am 15 and I have been wanting to build a small particle accelerator. I have seen it is possible to build one at home and safely but I wanted you advice on the matter of cost and precautions.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Davis Latimer

Answer
It's waaaay beyond the scope of some internet forum.  I'm curious to know where you saw that it was possible to build at home.  It's technically possible, see the example of this tiny cyclotron at Rutgers.  http://www.physics.rutgers.edu/cyclotron/  Just start pricing components like the RF system and magnet and power supply alone...it's expensive.  If you have tens of thousands of dollars it's technically possible.  You need a vacuum system, high voltage supplies (many), and control systems at the very least.  The thing is, doing it on a budget of just tens of thousands of dollars is really tricky, so you also need an actual nuclear physicist with experience building tiny accelerators to help you.  Someone who really has a lot of time on their hands, hopefully.

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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

Expertise

I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

Experience

I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Education/Credentials
Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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