Computers and electronic systems do several tasks in the operation of a particle accelerator:
- control the particle source, klystrons and magnets used in accelerating the particles
- monitor the beam
- collect and record the data from the experiments
- analyze the data
- monitor the safety systems
- shut down the system in the event of an emergency
Particle accelerators have many computers that control the system. These computers generally have the highest-speed microprocessors available, with large amounts of computer memory and data storage. These computers are often networked together. In some cases, computer data analyses may be done by on- or off-site supercomputers.