Re: Photo: Cyclotron Load On C&NW Heavy Duty Flat Car 48053
Daniel A. Mitchell
Probably correct that this load is some part of the base or frame of the machine.toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
A cyclotron consists mainly of two “D” shaped vacuum chambers surrounded by a big magnet and some RF coils. The two vacuum chambers are arranged flat-face to flat face forming a cylindrical chamber divided into two segments. A beam of electrons circulates inside this chamber, constrained in circular flight by the external magnetic field, and shuttling between the two chambers. The RF alternates the polarity the two “D” chambers, causing the electrons in the rotating beam to be attracted to one, and repelled by the other. Timing the RF polarity-swaps properly causes the electrons to accelerate.
Early cyclotrons were mostly about the size of a garden shed. Later were the size of a house. A big improvement came with the development of superconducting magnets allowing stronger magnetic fields. Modern “atom smashers” are vastly larger, but work mostly the same way, though they are now so big the magnet has to be split into segments and distributed around the ring. The largest in the USA is the “Tevatron” at Fermilab west of Chicago. The world's largest currently is the LHC at CERN in Europe. Its “ring” is almost 17 miles around, and there are 1232 superconducting magnets to constrain the beam. It’s the largest single machine on Earth.