Deuterium-Deuterium Fusion Reactions in the Houghton College Cyclotron

Thumbnail Image
Bowman, Joshua
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Houghton College
The Houghton College Cyclotron is a miniature particle accelerator that uses two “dee” shaped hollow electrodes, of 15.6 cm radius, to accelerate ions across a gap with an alternating RF potential difference of a few thousand volts at a frequency of 5.831 MHz. As an ion accelerates, an up to 1.13 T magnetic field keeps it on a circular path that spirals outward, allowing the ion to accelerate multiple times using the same electric potential. In this experiment, deuterons were ionized by electrons from a filament and accelerated, with a current of about 20 nA and an approximate energy of 4.8 keV, into a copper target at a radius of 5.54 cm where they embedded themselves. Later deuterons striking the embedded deuterons caused the D(d,n)3He reaction which produced neutrons. A plastic scintillator detector counted the neutrons that penetrated the chamber walls. An increase of 7913±587 counts or 158±12 counts per minute was detected when the beam was turned on. This is a significant milestone for the Houghton College Cyclotron as it is the first nuclear reaction that this cyclotron has successfully generated.
Student Projects
Authors retain the copyright for all content posted in this repository. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed beyond the Houghton College community without permission except in accordance with fair use doctrine.