The Rutgers 12-Inch cyclotron is a research-grade particle accelerator that is utilized as a teaching instrument. Our cyclotron incorporates much of the technology and sophistication of the large high-energy physics accelerators, such as those at Fermilab or CERN. Our cyclotron was solely built by a few like-minded enthusiasts on personal budgets. After incorporation into the Modern Physics Lab of Rutgers University, our project has been supported by an anonymous donor enabling a broad host of beam physics experiments. The Rutgers 12-Inch Cyclotron has received world-wide recognition and has impacted the professional lives of its students. I need to take time to thank all of the people who have made this possible. (this is long over due !)
First I start with my parents, who beyond fostering my scientific curiosities also funded much of the early work on this accelerator. My mother handed me the $50 bill which paid for our 9-inch magnet. My father arranged for the donation of large stainless steel bar, its rolling and welding into a ring, which forms the cyclotron vacuum chamber. Also, my father has provided the transportation and rigging for transporting the heavy components - more than once.
Stuart Hanebuth, a best friend of many years - even before we met, (read the physics today article) instantly bought in to the idea of building a cyclotron. Stu and I spent many integrated weeks planning & scheming, scrounging surplus across the states, fabricating and re-fabricating, and learning all the while. Stu personally funded about 50% of the initial expenses.
Robert Krawchuk, a physicist and friend that I can best describe as a kind and gentle person. He has been extremely generous to this project . it would not have been possible without his support. He holds the unique distinction that by mass, he is the greatest contributor, being around 73%. His contributions are too numerous to list, a few though, include the two 800 pound copper coils for the 12-inch magnet, the 4-inch diffusion pump, many high-vacuum components, and he has also provided us his 19-inch magnet for the next cyclotron.
Bill (Billy) Schneider, a friend of almost twenty years, is an artist disguised as a toolmaker. The metamorphosis of the napkin sketches that enter the machine shop into the precision working works of art the exit never ceases to amaze me. Additionally, Billy has contributed greatly to the design of the cyclotron and its components. He has always pushed hard to ensure the components are finished in time for use and, not surprisingly, they always fit. His personal instruction in the ways of machining to, and support of, our students is a testament to his love of machining.
Dan Hoffman, another friend and another substantial contributor to the project, has tirelessly contributed to the cyclotron project. His belief in scientific education has led him to take on the responsibilities of guiding students through several cyclotron projects, especially during my absence of the 'Fermilab years.' Several nice student projects contributing to the cyclotron have been completed under Dan's instruction, a few of which include the ion source and deflector aspects of the cyclotron.
Jim (Jimbo) Krutzler, another friend of many years, I describe as a wizard of electricity. From power-line installation to TTL logic, he commands control of every charge carrier. From the first days, Jimbo has always contributed to the wiring of the cyclotron, and is responsible for much of the data control and machine protection system. In addition to his time and talent, Jimbo has financially supported our project by equipment donation.
Tim Ponter, a cyclotron student who I first met in person on the day we were testing his deflector, has quickly become one of the permanent cyclotron team. First, I have to report that his project worked perfectly upon the first try and he received the grade A. Tim Ponter is a creative and dedicated scientist who is now responsible for much of the sophisticated design and computational simulation of our cyclotron. He is leading us into the design of our next project, a 19-Inch cyclotron.
Professor Mohan Kalelkar, the undergraduate chair of Rutgers Physics and Astronomy has been an ardent supporter of the cyclotron projects. He has always arranged for the needed funding to keep the project moving forward. He shares in the enthusiasm for accelerator education and continuously promotes our project.
I need to thank the instructors who have allowed our machine to intrude into their Modern Physics Lab course. Professor Misha Gershenson saw the instructional merit and agreed to let us move the cyclotron into his classroom in 2000. Subsequently, over the past decade Professors Gordon Thomson, Harry Kojima, and Eva Andrei have each 'lent' their brightest students every spring semester to be part of the cyclotron project.
A major supporter of this project from the beginning has been Michelle Koeth, my wife. She has kindly tolerated the late nights that I have been lost at the lab, the many personal expenses we have incurred, and the innumerable phone calls, e-mails and meetings that I have spent in discussion about our cyclotron. Most amazingly, Michelle recognized my love of accelerator physics and encouraged and fully supported my seven-year graduate student journey.
Finally, I thank all of the cyclotron students . it has been an inspiration to work with each one. I still remain in close contact with a few of them. Kent Horvath (2001), Carolyn Chun, Liam MacLynne (2002), Rob Friedman, John McClain (2003), Mike Shelly, Doug Cahl (2004), Doug Motto (2005), Anthony Barker, Alex (2006), Timothy Ponter, Heidi Baumgartner (2009 & 2010), Kiersten Ruisard, George Hine, Aaron Rosenberg (2011)
The cyclotron project is the embodiment of all that resonates with me. The physics and hardware aspects are obvious; however I am deeply inspired by the collaboration of volunteers. They dedicate their time and resources to a thank-less project that is mostly in the shadows - the few that see its light, describe it as 'amazing' and the amazed look on their faces makes it worth all the effort. This project has been life altering to a few, I am one of them. To all mentioned and left unspoken I personally thank you.
- Tim Koeth