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Kirk T. McDonald

Joseph Henry Laboratories, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544

(November 19, 2000)

Problem

m) via a changing magnetic ux = R2 B ave through the circle.

Deduce the relation between the magnetic eld B at radius R and the magnetic eld

Bave averaged over the area of the circle needed for a betatron to function. Also deduce the

maximum energy E to which an electron could be accelerated by a betatron in terms of B,

B ave and R.

Hints: The electrons in this problem are relativistic, so it is useful to introduce the factor

= E/mc2 where c is the speed of light. Recall that Newtons second law has the same form

for nonrelativistic and relativistic electrons except that in the latter case the eective mass

is m. Recall also that for circular motion the rest frame acceleration is 2 times that in the

lab frame.

Solution

The electron is held in its circular orbit by the Lorentz force due to the eld B. Newtons

law, F = ma, for this circular motion can be written (in Gaussian units)

F = ma =

v

mv 2

= e B.

R

c

(1)

eRB

.

mc2

(2)

The electron is being accelerated by the electric eld that is induced by the changing

magnetic ux. Applying the integral form of Faradays law to the circle of radius R, we have

(ignoring the sign)

R2 B ave

,

(3)

2RE = =

c

c

and hence,

RB ave

,

(4)

E =

2c

The rate of change of the electrons energy E due to E is

dE

eRB ave

= F v ecE =

,

dt

2

1

(5)

mc

2=

eRB ave

,

2

(6)

which integrates to

eRBave

.

2mc2

Comparing with eq. (2), we nd the required condition on the magnetic eld:

=

B=

Bave

.

2

(7)

(8)

As the electron accelerates it radiates energy at rate given by the Larmor formula in the

rest frame of the electron,

dE

2e2p2

2e2a2

=

(9)

dt

3c3

3c3

Because E and t are both the time components of 4-vectors their transforms from the rest

frame to the lab frame have the same form, and the rate dE/dt is invariant. However,

acceleration at right angles to velocity transforms according to a = 2 a. Hence, the rate of

radiation in the lab frame is

dE

2e2 4 a2

2e4 2 B 2

=

=

,

dt

3c3

3m2c3

(10)

The maximal energy of the electrons in the betatron obtains when the energy loss (10)

cancels the energy gain (5), i.e., when

2e4 2max B 2

eRB ave

=

,

2

3m2 c3

and

max =

3m2 c3 RB ave

=

4e3 B 2

3R B ave Bcrit

4c B B

(11)

3R Bcrit

,

4c B

(12)

where = e2 /

hc = 1/137 is the ne structure constant, Bcrit = m2c3 /e

h = 4.41013 G is the

so-called QED critical eld strength, and is the characteristic cycle time of the betatron

such that B ave = B/ . For example, with R = 1 m, = 0.03 sec (30 Hz), and B = 104 G,

we nd that max 200, or Emax 100 MeV.

We have ignored the radiation due to the longitudinal acceleration of the electron, since

in the limiting case this acceleration ceases.

References

[1] D. Iwanenko and I. Pomeranchuk, On the Maximal Energy Attainable in a Betatron,

Phys. Rev. 65, 343 (1944),

http://puhep1.princeton.edu/~mcdonald/examples/accel/iwanenko_pr_65_343_44.pdf

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