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In many Laboratories, great emphasis now is placed on the development of linear accelerators with very large ion currents. To achieve this goal, a primary concern must be the low-velocity part of the accelerator, where the current limit is determined and where most of the emittance growth occurs. The use of magnetic focusing, the conflicting requirements in the choice of linac frequency, and the limitations of high-voltage dc injectors, have tended to produce lowvelocity designs that limit overall performance. The radio-frequency quadrupole (RFQ) linear accelerator, invented in the Soviet Union and developed at Los Alamos, offers an attractive solution to many of these low-velocity problems. In the RFQ, the use of RF electric fields for radial focusing, combined with special programming of the bunching, allows high-current dc beams to be captured and accelerated with only small beam loss and low radial emittance growth. Advantages of the RFQ linac include a low injection energy (20-50 keV for protons) and a final energy high enough so the beam can be further accelerated with high efficiency in a WiderÃ¶e or Alvarez linac. These properties have been confirmed at Los Alamos in a highly successful experimental test performed during the past year. The success of this test and the advances in RFQ design procedures have led to the adoption of this linac for a wide range of applications. The beam-dynamics parameters of three RFQ systems are described.