Are cyclotrons really use for some purpose

  • Thread starter Rajini
  • Start date
In summary, cyclotrons are the basis of particle research and are still in use today. They are expensive to operate, but are very tunable in energy.
  • #1
Rajini
621
4
Hi all,
Are cyclotrons really use for some purpose...?
If they are in use for what purpose they are heavily used?
Because these days i see many 3rd gen. sources..
thanks
 
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  • #2


Hi there,

Cyclotrons are the basis of every particle research center in this world!

You probably heard about the CERN, to start accelerating the particles, they use a cyclotron.

So if your question is about why are they used: except for research they don't really have that much sense.
 
  • #3


fatra2 said:
You probably heard about the CERN, to start accelerating the particles, they use a cyclotron.

Are you sure about this? I am pretty sure it's a Linac and then 4 synchrotrons.
 
  • #4


No I am not. sorry about that.
 
  • #5


I believe that cyclotrons are indeed still in use today. Somebody was telling be about these being used in hospitals for proton therapy. The problem with cyclotrons for such an application, I was told, is that they are not very tunable in energy. But they are cheap! I gather the magnetic field is fixed and the ions (or electrons in the original E. Lawrence design) execute a spiral and come out at a particular energy.

Look up "Bragg peak" in some search engine. Ions tend to deposit their energy locally, according to their energy. So, to treat a tumor that is several cm is size, the energy of the ions must be altered. This is the problem. Cyclotrons like one energy. But they are cheap!

3rd generation light sources use synchrotrons or "storage rings". Here the (usually electron) energy is ramped up, the magnets that keep them in the ring are ramped up accordingly. The beams are periodically kicked out into wigglers to make the 3rd generation light (x-rays, their energies increasing with each generation).

The high-energy-physics proton/anti-proton storage rings are similar, but Much larger. LHC must adjust the magnet strength as the protons become more massive/energetic.
 
  • #6


Yes, cyclotrons are used for cancer cure attempts and the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams tries to figure out why radioactive nuclei aren't stable.
 
  • #7


MSU has two cyclotrons in use in the NSCL. I believe they are being replaced (or diverted) in the next few years though.
 

Related to Are cyclotrons really use for some purpose

1. What is a cyclotron and how does it work?

A cyclotron is a type of particle accelerator used in nuclear physics research. It works by using a strong magnetic field to accelerate charged particles, such as protons, in a spiral motion. As the particles gain energy, they are directed towards a target for experiments or medical applications.

2. What are the main uses of cyclotrons?

Cyclotrons have multiple uses, including research in nuclear physics, medical imaging and cancer treatment. They are also used to produce radioisotopes for medical imaging and industrial purposes.

3. Are cyclotrons still used today?

Yes, cyclotrons are still used today in various fields such as medical research and treatment, nuclear physics, and industrial applications. They continue to be an important tool for particle acceleration and creating radioisotopes.

4. How do cyclotrons contribute to cancer treatment?

Cyclotrons are used in cancer treatment through a process called proton therapy. Protons are accelerated to high energies and directed towards a tumor, delivering a precise dose of radiation to kill cancer cells. This type of treatment is beneficial because it can target the tumor while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

5. Are there any drawbacks or limitations to using cyclotrons?

One limitation of cyclotrons is their high cost and large size, making them less accessible to smaller research facilities. Additionally, the production of radioisotopes using cyclotrons can be time-consuming and expensive. However, the benefits of their use in medical treatment and research often outweigh these limitations.

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