There are two main types of particle accelerator: Linear accelerators (LINAC) are a type of particle accelerator that sends charged subatomic particles at high speed to its intended target along a linear beamline.
Linear accelerators have many applications but they are most commonly used within medical facilities. They are used for external beam radiation treatments for cancer patients, delivering high-energy x-rays or electrons to the location of a diagnosed tumor. There are also a number of existing and proposed scientific linear accelerators such as, SNS at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, ISIS at The Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and ESS in Lund which is under construction, where the accelerated particles are used to generate neutrons for microscopy.
Circular accelerators can be used for medical applications including cancer treatment and the manufacture of radioisotopes for both treatment and diagnosis purposes. They are used for collider applications in high energy physics research facilities include the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN and the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven Nation Lab.