A categorization is given of all the methods for accelerating particles. It is shown that in principle one can employ the large fields of a laser for this purpose as well as the wake fields of intense low‐energy particle beams. Discussion is given of four acceleration schemes which offer the possibility of attaining very high‐energy particles; namely, the inverse free‐electron laser accelerator, the beat‐wave accelerator, the wake‐field accelerator, and the two‐beam accelerator.

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