The McMaster Accelerator Lab has been active in research and experimentation for over 34 years. Located on central McMaster University campus in Hamilton, Ontario, the lab has been operational since 1969 and over the past 5 years has had a revitalization in both facilities and equiptment.
The MAL building was recently renovated to facilitate the ongoing laboratory expansion projects. Added were two levels of lab space, as well as 8 new graduate and faculty offices. Our current layout consists of both new and historical equiptment, some of which has been in place since the opening of the lab in 1969. Current projects include a 3MV Model KN Van De Graaff Accelerator, a 1.25MV Tandetron, a Single-Ion µMicrobeam and a proposed 30MV Cyclotron.
The KN accelerator dates back to the early days of the McMaster Accelertor Lab. It is a linear, horizontal, single ended Van De Graaff accelerator with a design rating of 3MV. It was built in 1956 by High Voltage Engineering Coorporation of Burlington, Massachusetts. This accelerator was obtained from Princes Margaret Hospital in Toronto in 1970 where it was used for cancer research.
The KN accelerator is used for experiments in many different areas. In the Medical Physics field, tests are conducted on irradiated samples of simulated human teeth and tissue, and used to obtain information on radiation exposure to body parts and to help contribute research in finding cures for diseases. For more information on experiments conducted at the Accelerator lab, please see the programmes page.
In May 2003, McMaster Accelerator Lab took delivery of a 1.25MV Tandetron tandem type accelerator custom made by High Voltage Engineering in the Netherlands.
Currently under construction at the MAL is the (BEAM (McMaster University Biological Experiments By Accelerator Methods) Facility. When commissioned in the summer of 2005 this facility will be used to study low level radiation dosimetry by delivering single helium or hydrogen ions into individual cells. Precise targeting of the particles will allow researchers to determine the effects of radiation on specific cellular components rather than looking at the effects of broad radiation doses on whole organisms as is more commonly done.
The accelerator being used for the BEAM is a 3MV Model KN Van De Graaff that was donated to the MAL from the University of Guelph Department of Physics. It was used for PIXIE until they upgraded to a 3MV Pelletron in spring of 2001.