Physics and Astronomy Department


Union College particle accelerator

The Union College Ion-Beam Analysis Laboratory features a Pelletron Accelerator, a small tandem electrostatic accelerator (model 3SDH) made by the National Electrostatics Corporation. In the lab, we use applications of nuclear physics to study environmental problems. In particular we use different ion-beam analysis techniques as a probe of the elemental makeup of a target. Typically we perform Proton Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) or Rutherford Backscattering (RBS) spectroscopic techniques to analyze solid, liquid and atmospheric aerosol samples, but we also have the capability of performing the spectroscopic techniques of Proton Induced Gamma-ray Emission (PIGE) or Proton Elastic Scattering Analysis (PESA). For more details and recent student projects, visit the Accelerator Homepage.

The Union College Obervatory and the ‎accelerator