cyclotron(redirected from Cyclotrons)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
A circular particle accelerator in which charged subatomic particles generated at a central source are accelerated spirally outward in a plane perpendicular to a fixed magnetic field by an alternating electric field. A cyclotron is capable of generating particle energies between a few million and several tens of millions of electron volts.
(Atomic Physics) a type of particle accelerator in which the particles spiral inside two D-shaped hollow metal electrodes placed facing each other under the effect of a strong vertical magnetic field, gaining energy by a high-frequency voltage applied between these electrodes
cy•clo•tron(ˈsaɪ kləˌtrɒn, ˈsɪk lə-)
an accelerator in which particles move in spiral paths in a magnetic field.
An alternating electric field attracts the particles from one side of the cyclotron to the other. The cyclotron's magnetic field, generated by the two electromagnets, bends each particle's path into a horizontal spiral, forcing it to accelerate in order to keep up with the alternating electric field. When the particle reaches its peak acceleration it is released to collide with the desired target.
A device that accelerates charged subatomic particles, such as protons and electrons, in an outwardly spiraling path, greatly increasing their energies. Cyclotrons are used to bring about high-speed particle collisions in order to study subatomic structures. Compare linear accelerator.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||cyclotron - an accelerator that imparts energies of several million electron-volts to rapidly moving particles|
atom smasher, particle accelerator, accelerator - a scientific instrument that increases the kinetic energy of charged particles
bevatron - a cyclotron that accelerates protons up to several billion electron volts
synchrocyclotron - cyclotron that achieves relativistic velocities by modulating the frequency of the accelerating electric field
synchrotron - cyclotron in which the electric field is maintained at a constant frequency