Sources of Polarized Electrons*
Review articleOpen access

Publisher SummaryThis chapter describes the current state of the art of polarized electron sources and discusses a collection of polarized electron sources diverse enough to fulfill most needs. Each source is described in detail following a general discussion of source characteristics, the sources are compared, and their various merits are discussed in the chapter. The choice of the optimum source for a given application depends upon a great many interrelated factors. The ability to optically reverse the polarization direction is a very significant advantage for most applications, and the majority of the sources use this technique. The chapter presents a review of the current state-of-the-art technology for producing beams of polarized electrons. Progress toward this goal has been steady and in the past few years highly accelerated. High polarization is needed most by the high energy community and there are experiments that require substantially larger currents. It is expected that source development will be enhanced by the increase in the number of people working in this area, but it is tempered by the fact that there is so much good science possible with the new technology that is now available.

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