ZonkerWilliam writes, "Here is a very interesting article, for the scientific community at least, on an advancement in laser wakefield particle accelerators. Being able to accelerate electrons to 1 Gev in the space of 3.3 cm calls up visions of portable devices that can be used anywhere: think of portable cancer therapies, if they can do the same for positrons, portable PET scans, possible use in compact fusion devices, capturing the dearly departed, etc. The uses are mind boggling." From the article: "By comparison, SLAC, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, boosts electrons to 50 GeV over a distance of two miles... The Berkeley Lab group and their Oxford collaborators... achieve a 50th of SLAC's beam energy in just one-100,000th of SLAC's length." I doubt that this tech will fit on a table top anytime soon. The article quotes the Berkeley researcher: "We believe we can [get to 10 GB] with an accelerator less than a meter long — although we'll probably need 30 meters' worth of laser path."