The Rutgers 12-Inch cyclotron is an accelerator capable of producing 1 million electron volt (1 MeV) protons. It is both a teaching tool and a research and development platform. While it is now employed as a teaching tool in the Modern Physics Lab courses at Rutgers University, the 12-inch cyclotron project began as a personal pursuit for two Rutgers undergraduate students in 1995 (Tim Koeth & Stu Hanebuth). By 1999 the cyclotron construction was the focus of the four senior cyclotron staff. The cyclotron was moved into the Physics Building in 2001 and incorporated into the Modern Physics Teaching Lab. Since the Fall semester of 2001, students have been contributing to the cyclotron's operation and improvement. By spring of 2006 the cyclotron was reliably producing 200 nA - 800keV proton beams. In 2012, with the recent addition of the PIG ion source the cyclotron routinely out-runs its operators! The cyclotron operates smoothly, providing 10's of microamperes of beam on-time in excess of 30 hours without requiring maintenance. The Rutgers 12-Inch Cyclotron project has given its students a working introduction to the field of accelerator physics. The principles of operation of today's large accelerators are very similar. With this machine, the students can encounter many of the same features, frustrations, and breakthroughs an accelerator physicist would experience at Fermilab or CERN. We have done our best to make this experience available to the world through this web page. Please e-mail us (koeth at physics.rutgers.edu) with questions.

IMPACT: To date, nineteen junior and senior undergraduate physics students have gained experience with this machine; five of them have gone on to pursue accelerator physics careers in both academia and industry. Our cyclotron has been featured in Physics Today (2004), Make Magazine (2005), Fermilab-SLAC-CERN's Symmetry (2010), as well as numerous online articles. Beam physics data from our cyclotron has been incorporated into the United States Particle Accelerator School's (USPAS) curriculum. Collaborations with other laboratories from around the globe have been formed so as to use the Rutgers Cyclotron for the development cyclotron central regions and associated components.

For more information, please click here for our video tour.