The superconducting accelerator takes an electron beam and gives it a shot of energy using microwaves. It's not much different from the way your microwave oven works. Only instead of heating food, the microwave energy is channeled directly into the electron beam to make it travel faster. The microwaves are injected through a vertical waveguide--the central, silver-colored thing with a kink in it. The whole accelerator is cooled to just 2 kelvins above absolute zero; the frigid temperature keeps the material's electrical resistance down and prevents energy from escaping. Between five and seven of these eight-foot-long devices are placed end-to-end to get the electron beam up to speed.