Publisher Description

This is a science book. His success with the 60-inch cyclotron in 1939 led Dr. E. O. Lawrence to propose a much more powerful accelerator, one which could produce new types of nuclear rearrangements and even create particles. Grants totaling $1, 225, 000 permitted work to start on the 184-inch cyclotron in August 1940. It was designed to accelerate atomic particles to an energy of 100 million electron volts (Mev), five times that possible with the 60-inch machine. Before the new cyclotron could be finished World War II began. Construction on the cyclotron was therefore halted. However, because of interest in separating the isotopes of uranium by the electromagnetic method, work on the giant magnet continued at an even faster pace. This magnet would contain 3700 tons of steel in its yoke and pole pieces, and 300 tons of copper in its exciting coils (Fig. 1). By May 1942 the magnet was completed. During that summer it was used in a pilot plant to separate the first significant amounts of U235 ever obtained. The 184-inch magnet remained in use in a research and development program at Berkeley until the end of the war, supplying information to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where a large separation plant had been erected. Construction on the rest of the cyclotron was resumed in 1945. By that time a new principle had been discovered which made it possible to obtain ion beams of much higher energy than originally hoped for. Yet a considerably lower accelerating voltage could be used. This important discovery was made independently by Dr. V. Veksler in Russia and by Dr. Edwin M. McMillan, present Director of the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. Before attempting to discuss this principle, we should first review the operation of a conventional cyclotron.

Science & Nature
August 10
Public Domain
Public Domain