Characterizing The Performance of The Houghton College Cyclotron
The Houghton College Cyclotron briefly accelerated hydrogen ions for the first time in 2007 before a discharge from the dee to the chamber wall damaged the glass insulation and “dee” electrode. To prevent this from happening again, a new vacuum chamber and 15 cm diameter “dee” electrode was designed and constructed. Placed between the poles of a 1.1 T electromagnet, low pressure gas was released into the chamber where a filament, through electron collisions, ionized the gas. The ions were accelerated by an alternating RF electric field and forced to travel in a spiral path by the electromagnet. The new chamber and “dee” has successfully accelerated protons, molecular hydrogen and helium. Eventually, the d(d,n)3He reaction will be used to produce neutrons for use in small-scale nuclear experiments.
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