Eighty-three years after the cyclotron was first patented, science is taking a fresh look at the atom smasher as a potential producer of the radioactive isotope that helps doctors diagnose millions of patients across the world every year.
The cyclotron was patented on this day in 1934 by Ernest Lawrence, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. The physicist took home a 1939 Nobel Prize for his invention, whose greatest significance in the words of the Nobel committee was in the “production of artificially radioactive substances.”
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