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what is cyclotron and how it works?
Asked by katrina.ayush23...(student) , on 7/11/10

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Hi Ayush

Cyclotron is a device to accelerate charged particles to very high speed. It employs an electric and magnetic field for the same purpose.

Working: Consider the given diagram.

Pair of hollow metallic cylinders, shaped like D (called Dees) is placed in an evacuated chamber. D1 and D2 are placed such that they are slightly separated along a diameter.  Also, D1and D2 are connected to a high frequency oscillator, due to which they are positively and negatively charged at a given time. A magnetic field, B, is applied in a direction as shown in the figure.


Suppose, a positively charged particle, P, is placed at the center. At this time, D1 is negative and D2 is positive (suppose). The positively charged particle will be attracted to D1. But, after entering D1 it experiences no electric field (as there is no electric field inside metallic cylinder). Now, under influence of the magnetic field, B, the particle P follows a circular path. It emerges out of D1 after time t, but at this time, D2 becomes negative and D1 positive. Hence, particle P is accelerated to enter D2, and follows a circular path again. After following a similar path, it gains a very high speed in the end when it comes out to strike the target.


@Imad: Good answer, keep it up!!

Best wishes!!

Posted by Abhishek Gupta(MeritNation Expert)on 9/11/10

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