Initial Results from the Houghton College Cyclotron
Initial performance characteristics for the Houghton College cyclotron have been measured. The cyclotron consists of a cylindrical vacuum chamber with diameter 15.3 cm and height 2.5 cm containing a hollow “dee” electrode and a ground electrode. At resonance, an RF source that can be tuned to frequencies between 2 MHz and 15 MHz creates an oscillating electric potential of several thousand volts between the electrodes. The chamber is placed between the 15.3 cm diameter poles of a 1.1 T electromagnet and is evacuated to a pressure of about 10-6 torr. Hydrogen, helium, and deuterium gas may be introduced and ions created by electron bombardment from a hot cathode. The magnetic and oscillating electric fields cause the ions to spiral outwards, gaining energy as their orbit radius increases. We anticipate maximum kinetic energies for protons, deuterons and helium nuclei to be about 280 keV, 140 keV, and 70 keV respectively.
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