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Cyclotron Working

Brief Intro to Cyclotron:

The cyclotron is very important for Class XII Students. Its asked as a Long Answer Question in Class XII Examination.

Linear Accelerators versus Cyclotron

There are Linear Accelerators available, but Cyclotrons are Better for accelerating the charged particle because they make the charged particle move in a Spiral and Hence the size of Cyclotron is manageable when compared to a Linear Accelerator. So a Cyclotron is Compact!

Best way to learn Cyclotron

1. One should study Each Part of Cyclotron ( Construction) and Understand its usage. Each Part of Cyclotron plays an Important part in working of Cyclotron.  The Main components of Cyclotron are:-

a) Dees -These are the Hollow Containers. The 2 Dees has a Small Gap between them.

b) Dees are connected to an Alternating Voltage Source (Not Direct Voltage)

c) Both the Dees are inside a magnetic field B.

d) There is a charged particle (using an Ion Source) which is sent at the centre of the Cyclotron into a Dee ( any of the two).

e) The Magnetic Field makes the Charge Particle move into a Circle.

f)  When the charged particle completes the semi-circle in a Dee the alternating voltage comes into play, i.e. the polarity is changed, and the charged particle is accelerated towards the other D using Alternating Voltage through the Gap between the 2 Dees.

g) The Charged particle again moves in a circle under the influence of the Magnetic Field but this time with larger radius because it went in with higher speed provided by the Alternating Voltage.

h) The process explained from e) to g) is repeated many times. The charged particle keeps on gaining velocity and moves spirally. ( Spiral means the Radius of the circle increases when it enters the other Dee, so the shape of motion is Spiral).

i) The charged particle is thus made to pass across the same electric field ( produced by Alternating Voltage) and Magnetic field.

2. The most crucial concept in Cyclotron is understanding the frequency of revolution as the Radius increases. Read that carefully as this point gets missed. The Period of the cyclotron is the time for which it stays inside the Dee.

3. The Best way to study Cyclotron is to first under the Physics Laws that Governs the working of Cyclotron. The Magnetic Field provides the required Centripetal Force to the Cyclotron for circular motion, and Electric field provides it with the Required Linear acceleration, i.e. increase in velocity.

4. A Cyclotron keeps on increase the Velocity and hence Kinetic Energy of the Charged Particle.

In medical science, Cyclotrons are used to Treat Cancer by providing Proton Therapy. The accelerated Protons penetrate the body to destroy the Tumour.

Electrons are generally not accelerated using a cyclotron because they have very light mass. If they are accelerated the speed becomes very very high. The speed change should be in synch with the frequency of the electric field.

Challenge Question What is the use of Oscillator (source of the electric field) connected to Cyclotron? How does the Frequency of Cyclotron impact the working of Cyclotron?

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