Advantages and Disadvantages of Cyclotron


We know what a cyclotron is, it's working, etc., but what could possibly be the advantages and disadvantages of a cyclotron. I spent a little time researching this and I have come up with so many advantages and disadvantages of a cyclotron.

A cyclotron is used to produce high velocity and high energy ions. Advantages of cyclotron are they are used in the study of EM waves, in nuclear physics and in the medical field to treat cancer. Apart from so many advantages of cyclotron some of the disadvantages and limitations of a cyclotron is the speed of ions or particle cannot be increased after a certain limit. 


Advantages and disadvantages of cyclotron
Advantages Study of EM waves
Nuclear Physics
Treatment of cancer
Disadvantages The speed of particle cannot be increased after a limit

Advantages of cyclotron:

So cyclotron is basically a device made to produce high velocity and high energized ions by making magnetic and electric field perpendicular so that ions follow a helical path and with this the speed of ions increases.

Cyclotron
Cyclotron

This high-velocity ion is used in many fields. So let's find out :

1. Study of EM waves: The particle which is accelerated with the help of cyclotron emits electromagnetic radiation and that radiation emitted from the particle is also called as cyclotron radiation. This radiation helps in the study of electromagnetic waves (EM waves)

2. Nuclear Physics: Cyclotron is used to accelerate the particle at high speed and hence can also be called a particle accelerator. Now, this huge particle accelerator is used to accelerate the particles to near the speed of light and is used to understand more about nuclear physics.

3. Treatment for cancer: As you all know, cancer is an extremely dangerous disease. Cancer is basically growing of extra tissues (more than needed by the human body). The high-speed ion beam can be used to penetrate through the human body and to kill the tumour in the human body.

PET cyclotron used in photon therapy
PET cyclotron used in photon therapy

While minimizing the damage to the healthy tissues in the path. This is how we can treat cancer with the help of cyclotron and this is called Photon therapy.

Disadvantages of cyclotron:

So now you know that cyclotron and high-speed particle can be very useful but what are some of the limitations and disadvantages of a cyclotron.

A cyclotron is used to accelerate the speed of a particle, but it also has its limits and this is the main disadvantage and limitation of a cyclotron. Speed of particle cannot be increased after a limit.

Reason :
Equation which shows mass increases with speed
Equation which shows mass increases with speed 

According to this formula given by Einstein, you will see that at high-speed mass increases due to which time period increases which disturbs the synchronization of the cyclotron and cyclotron stops.

What is synchronization in a cyclotron ?

In the construction of cyclotron. The frequency of an oscillator is set to be equal to the frequency of rotation of charge. This state is called Synchronization.

How to overcome the limitations of cyclotron ?

We know that cyclotron limitation that it doesn't accelerate after its limit. So how to overcome that ?

Solution to this problem is: 

  1. Modifying the magnetic field accordingly by approximately shaping the poles of a magnet in a cyclotron. 
  2. Changing the frequency applied to dee's in a cyclotron. 
Both of these methods are only possible by enlarging the mass of the cyclotron, both of which have the advantages of scalability, offering more power with more complex structure as the machine are made larger.

Tips for you :)

The largest particle accelerator or cyclotron is large hadron collider

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