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WikiProject Mass spectrometry (Rated B-class, Mid-importance)
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There are a major errors on this entry. Those are the problems solved by the synchrotron not cyclotron!

1-29-2012 Wasen't the 1st cyclotron built by Livingston based on designs and data from Lawrence? I thought he took the failed Lawrence/Edlefsen system and retooled in into a working system in 1931 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:53, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Greetings to the above reader who at that time was at IP address Note that the linear accelerators at the time of the invention of the cyclotron were severely limited by the lack of effective driving devices (electron tubes) capable of high power, high frequency, and precise control of both frequency and phase — all four of these factors are required to get high power from a linear accelerator within a cost effective device length. The contemporary low performance of electron tube driving devices in one or more of these critical factors lead to a low power to length ratio for linear accelerators. It was these problems that were effectively addressed by the cyclotron. The cyclotron and its successor the synchrocyclotron have their own peculiar limitations but offered a significant advance over linear accelerators of the time. Their succesor, the synchrotron overcame the limitations of the cyclotron and synchrocyclotron.
In response to your useful remark I have added a number of clarifications to the article incorporating the concepts outlined above. Please review and comment here.
Please register as a user so we may more easily discuss these matters. For example, it is not possible to tell if other edits by the same IP address are your contributions, as the IP address is in many cases dynamically assigned. There are many good reasons to become registered. We are (almost all) here to learn from each other and improve Wikipedia. If you do not wish to register, you may contact me on my user page, or may leave article specific comments here. You are even free to edit the articles, although those that come in by IP address contain a high percentage of vandalism and make the edits very closely watched. You are welcome to become a member of our community. Best wishes, -- Leonard G. 23:57, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)

In March 2005, anon user deleted the entire selection mentioned above, and without comment - If anyone has objections to the content of this section please discuss it in detail. Contact me on my user page. Leonard G. 04:13, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)


I don't find it surprising that a description is less well known than the working example. Other features of particle accelerators, and almost everything else were theorized or speculated about long before they were put into practice. David R. Ingham 02:12, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

On it is said the glow is not because of Cherenkov radiation, who is right ?

surely the point of the cooling pipes is to remove heat (power) caused by resistive and dielectric heating of the electrodes by the AC field , not the trivial heat produced from a miniscule number of particles escaping the confinement?

--Ethelred 05:11, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

WARNING - This Page Is Under Hack Attack[edit]

I came to read it and the entire page was filled with badly spelt warnings from a hacker, demanding money from the government etc. I checked this discussion page and it was ok. After looking up 'revert' in wiki help, the page reverted itself to genuine content. Please check history to confirm. --TresRoque 17:13, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Add units[edit]

I suggest to include in the "mathematics" section that units are SI. The expression are different in CGS. BTW, it could be include both of them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:25, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Curved vs Spiral[edit]

I went to the front section and made some edits for accuracy. There seems to be some people who insist on curved geometry in high-energy physics, but the cyclotron as a working machine demonstrates a spiral particle path caused by the angular displacement of the particles. The degree of angular displacement is a function of the speed of rotation (a function of the frequency of the power supply), and the centrifugal force driving the accelerated particles out towards the rim of the containment.

The resulting geometry is fractal, not curved. The particle acceleration path forms a spiral of definable length. This is a key acceleration path in nature, as can be easily verified by examining spiral galaxies in a telescope, or watching water go down a drain. This is the same acceleration path used in magnetrons and other high energy, non-linear, accelerators & resonators.

More and more theorists are coming to grips with a fractal string universe with coiled, not curved geometry as the base function. The cyclotron is an example of this geometry in a working machine

   Cyclotrons can produce circles though can't they? We did the typical cyclotron experiment showed in the picture here in school and we made a circle when the surrounding magnetic field was strong enough. Frederickhoyles (talk) 21:02, 14 January 2009 (UTC)


With no change in energy the charged particles in a magnetic field will follow a circular path. In the cyclotron, energy is applied to the particles as they cross the gap between the dees and so they are accelerated (at the typical sub-relativistic speeds used) and will increase in mass as they approach the speed of light. Either of these effects (increased velocity or increased mass) will increase the radius of the circle and so the path will be a spiral.

(The particles move in a spiral, because a current of electrons or ions, flowing perpendicular to a magnetic field, experiences a perpendicular force. The charged particles move freely in a vacuum, so the particles follow a spiral path.) The radius will increase until the particles hit a target at the perimeter of the vacuum chamber.

Aren't the above two paragraphs contradictory? Overmage (talk) 08:28, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I would like to merge the article isochronous cyclotron to the article cyclotron, since the first mentioned page has little content and is very closely related the last mentioned article. (Please object within two weeks) BR84 (talk) 20:40, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

BR84 (talk) 18:57, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Notable Examples[edit]

I cleaned up the introductory section by creating a "History" and a "Notable Examples" section. The latter is noticeably underpopulated at the moment, containing only TRIUMF. I don't have time to do it right now, but that section should probably include RIKEN, NSCL, and the one in Germany whose name escapes me at the moment. - PianoDan (talk) 13:09, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Frequency range of magnetron radiation mis-identified.[edit]

As written, the article incorrectly states the magnetron is, "...a device for producing high frequency radio waves..." It then goes on to state the wavelength as "microwaves."

A magnetron does indeed produce microwaves; but microwaves are not considered to be in the high-frequency or "HF" range of the radio spectrum. Instead, they are in the "super-high" or SHF range. This is confirmed by a number of existing Wikipedia articles, including the one titled Super high frequency.

Although this is minor point, it does work against Wikipedia's well-known goal of consistency across related articles. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:55, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

Article showcases lazy editors[edit]

This article illustrates the typical shortcomings of technical articles on Wikipedia. The two line introduction tells almost nothing about the subject, and is not an adequate summary in blatant violation of WP:LEAD. The brief explanation of how it works will be pretty much opaque to general readers. The history section discusses obscure Russian cyclotrons but omits the most notable machines of all, Lawrence's 60 and 184 inch cyclotrons.

Most of all, the editors show off their precious math skills with a confused derivation of the relativistic formula for cyclotron frequency, but manage to omit the most important formula of all, what anyone coming to this page wants to know, the formula for the output energy of the particle!!!

All of this is due of course to lazy egocentric editing; when the choice came between writing a comprehensible encyclopedia article and indulging your private interests, the ego won out. Nice going, guys. I made an effort to correct your screwups. --ChetvornoTALK 15:52, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

1932 or 1931?[edit]

The text, Radioactivity: Introduction and History, by Michael F. L'Annunziata on page 2 states that "Ernest Lawrence built the first working cyclotron in 1931..." That's a year prior to the date in the introduction to this article. If anyone can resolve that minor disagreement, please feel free to reply to this question. Thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by BobEnyart (talkcontribs) 19:09, 3 August 2016 (UTC)