A particle accelerator is a machine that uses electromagnetic fields to propel charged particles to very high speeds and energies, and to contain them in well-defined beams.
Large accelerators are used for basic research in particle physics. The largest accelerator currently operating is the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland, operated by the CERN. It is a collider accelerator, which can accelerate two beams of protons to an energy of 6.5 TeV and cause them to collide head-on, creating center-of-mass energies of 13 TeV. Other powerful accelerators are, RHIC at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York and, formerly, the Tevatron at Fermilab, Batavia, Illinois. Accelerators are also used as synchrotron light sources for the study of condensed matter physics. Smaller particle accelerators are used in a wide variety of applications, including particle therapy for oncological purposes, radioisotope production for medical diagnostics, ion implanters for manufacture of semiconductors, and accelerator mass spectrometers for measurements of rare isotopes such as radiocarbon. There are currently more than 30,000 accelerators in operation around the world.