Under construction



The Rheotron or betatron




Professor Donald Kerst built the world's first magnetic induction accelerator at the University of Illinois in 1940. After the new machine was referred to variously as a "rheotron," an "inductron," a "Super-X-Ray Machine," and a "cosmic ray machine" in early press releases, a departmental contest was held to name it.


"Ausserordentlichhochgeschwindigkeitelektronenentwickelndenschwerarbeitsbeigollitron" was one of the more original entries. Kerst settled on "betatron." The original betatron is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution.





Betatron kill device - USA Defense Advanced Research DOD/DARPA agency - 1989


A feasibility study is proposed on a novel concept for design of an electronic kill (soft kill) device. The concept utilizes conventionalmeans to deliver a high energy radiation producing device (a "betatron") in close proximity to threat weapon systems, thereby destroying electronic components integrated into, or in support of, threat weapon systems. As the betatron collapses under pressure from high explosives contained in the delivery system, it forward scatters high energy gamma radiation in a cone-like geometry, producing a high probability of permanent damage to electronic devices within the cone of radiation. Previous research conducted by sandia national laboratory under the code name "delphi", for the office of strategic defense; and betatron research conducted by both u.S. And soviet sources supports the possibility of this device.


Names involved in the development


Comming soon


  • Ernest Lawrence (Cyclotron)
  • Donald Kerst
  • Rolf Widerøe



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