A particle accelerator is a device that uses electromagnetic fields to propel charged particles to high speeds and to contain them in well-defined beams. Large accelerators are best known for their use in particle physics as colliders. They also make great space weapons.
The Flash Edit
One particular particle accelerator played a vital role in the CW Network television programs Arrow and The Flash. This device was invented by Doctor Harrison Wells and was based out of S.T.A.R. Labs in Central City. On the night of the public unveiling of the device, the device was activated and overloaded, sending a large wave of charged electromagnetic radiation across the city. This yielded catastrophic effects on many individuals, but also produced unexpected results in others. In addition to fatalities and injuries, it also jump-started a latent chromosome in certain individuals, which has come to be described as a metagene. These individuals spontaneously developed superhuman abilities; the most notable of whom is Barry Allen, who gained the ability to run at super-speed and became the Central City superhero known as The Streak. He later changed his name to The Flash.
Others who were affected by the particle accelerator explosion include Ronnie Raymond, who was believed to be dead for several months, Tony Woodward, who could transmute his own flesh into metal, and Bette Sans Souci, who became a literal bombshell dubbed Plastique.