A type of → accelerator that accelerates charged subatomic particles (generally protons) in a circular path. Unlike → cyclotrons, in which particles follow a spiral path, synchrotrons consist of a single ring-shaped tube through which the particles loop numerous times, guided by precisely synchronized magnetic fields and accelerated at various points in the loop by electric field bursts. See also → synchrotron frequency, → synchrotron radiation.
From synchro- a combining form representing synchronized or synchronous in compound words, from L. synchronus "simultaneous," from Gk. synchronos "happening at the same time," from → syn- "together" + khronos "time" + → -tron.
Sankrotron, from Fr., as above.
Fr.: fréquence synchrotron
The revolution frequency of a → relativistic particle of charge q and mass m in the → uniform magnetic field B of a synchrotron. It is expressed by: fsyn = qB/2πγm, where γ is the → Lorentz factor. This frequency is lower than → cyclotron frequency for a → non-relativistic case.
Fr.: rayonnement synchrotron
The electromagnetic radiation emitted by high-energy particles that are moving in magnetic fields, as in a synchrotron particle accelerator. The acceleration of the moving charges causes the particles to emit radiation. Radio galaxies and supernova remnants are intense sources of synchrotron radiation. Characteristics of synchrotron radiation are its high degree of polarization and nonthermal spectrum.