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cyclotron:see particle acceleratorparticle accelerator,
apparatus used in nuclear physics to produce beams of energetic charged particles and to direct them against various targets. Such machines, popularly called atom smashers, are needed to observe objects as small as the atomic nucleus in studies of its
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a resonance particle accelerator in which the magnetic guide field and the frequency of the accelerating electric field are constant in time. The particles, which may be protons or heavier ions, move in an uncoiled spiral. The highest possible energy of protons accelerated in a cyclotron is about 20 million electron volts and may reach 1 billion electron volts in an isochronous cyclotron. (SeeACCELERATOR, PARTICLE.)