Dictionary Definition

synchrocyclotron n : cyclotron that achieves relativistic velocities by modulating the frequency of the accelerating electric field

User Contributed Dictionary



From synchro- + cyclotron.




  1. A particle accelerator like a cyclotron, but which operates at variable frequency to account for the particles gaining energy, allowing for greater energies to be achieved.
    • 2004: The synchrocyclotron was able to accelerate protons to sufficient energies that collisions with nuclei produce pions, the lightest particles that, we now know, are made from a single quark and an antiquark. — Frank Close, Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford 2004, p. 50)

Extensive Definition

A synchrocyclotron is a cyclotron in which the frequency of the driving RF electric field is varied to compensate for the mass gain of the accelerated particles as their velocity begins to approach the speed of light. This is in contrast to the classical cyclotron, where the frequency was held constant.
It differs from a cyclotron in that it has a single D(ee) instead of two Ds.
Synchrocyclotrons have not been built since the isochronous cyclotron was developed.
Isochronous cyclotrons maintain a constant RF driving frequency and compensate for the relativistic mass gain of the accelerated particles by increasing the magnetic field with radius. Isochronous cyclotrons are capable of producing much greater beam current than synchrocyclotrons.

See also

  • Cyclotron — this contains a mathematics section that assumes constancy of mass, and an extensive see also section.
  • Betatron
synchrocyclotron in Catalan: Sincrociclotró
synchrocyclotron in Spanish: Sincrociclotrón
synchrocyclotron in French: Synchrocyclotron
synchrocyclotron in Polish: Synchrocyklotron
synchrocyclotron in Portuguese: Sincrocíclotron
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