You are here

Electromagnetism and Circular Motion in a Cyclotron



Electromagnetism and Circular Motion in a Cyclotron is the  second and flagship DVD produced in the TRIUMF Physics in Action video series.  The video includes six high school-level physics lessons about circular motion in an electromagnetic field and uses  TRIUMF's cyclotron to demonstrate and explain key physics principles.

A companion workbook provides background information, walks students and teachers through the calculations, and provides advanced problems not shown in the video.  The workbook is freely editable by teachers to suit their classroom needs.

The lessons on the DVD are:

Lesson 1: Hydrogen Minus Ion

Discover how TRIUMF creates negatively charged hydrogen ions in the ion source and find the ionization energy of the hydrogen atom using Newton's and Coulomb's Laws.

Lesson 2: Initial Acceleration

Learn how an electric field is used to accelerate the negative hydrogen ion in TRIUMF's injection line. Determine the outgoing energy of the ions by converting electric potential energy to kinetic energy.

Lesson 3: Electrostatic Beam Steering

Using Newton's Law, electrostatics, and circular motion to find what it takes to steer the ion beam.

Lesson 4: Circular Motion in a Magnetic Field

Calculate the cyclotron frequency using Newton's Laws, electromagnetism, and circular motion in magnetic fields. Then learn how to prove that the cyclotron frequency is independent of velocity and radius of the particle path.

Lesson 5: Magnetic Beam Steering

Discover why magnetic fields are used instead of electric fields for the very high speed particles; find the magnetic field strength using Newton's Laws to examine circular motion in magnetic fields.

Lesson 6: Beam Production and Filtering

Find out how to select a particular "exotic" ion by its mass. Use Newton's Laws, electrostatics, and circular motion in magnetic fields to design a Mass Separator.


Download the Workbook

For Students (zip file)


Information about the Physics in Action video series

Ce document est aussi disponible en français.

TRIUMF is committed to ensuring Canadian youth are the best-educated on the planet. The Physics In Action lesson series teaches students about the physical sciences and shows them that physics, in addition to being fun and exciting, can lead to rewarding careers in Canada’s emerging knowledge-based economy.

TRIUMF’s initiative creates science education videos for high schools by providing lesson plans, resources and video-clip demonstrations of how physics principles are applied in a real-world environment, such as the nuclear and particle physics laboratory at TRIUMF. Each lesson on the DVD uses different stages of TRIUMF’s particle accelerator to demonstrate clear and simple explanations of physics. The standard concepts of electricity, magnetism, potential and kinetic energy, classical mechanics and forces are illustrated using the TRIUMF cyclotron and other accelerators – technology that cannot be accessed in normal classroom experience.