It is a complete breakthrough not only for India but also for the world. India may now lead the world in creation of high intensity electromagnetic flux though the use completely indigenously developed superconducting cyclotron. The scientists and engineers achieved the cheapest electromagnetic flux that can change the world. The immediate implications lie in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for medical diagnostics, energy storage devices, and rapid transport utilising magnet levitation.
To be operational in two years, this powerful cyclotron being developed at the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC) here, namely K500, would be the seventh of its kind in the world. There are three such cyclotrons in the US, one in Canada, one in Italy and one in the Netherlands. "K500 would be indigenous and three times more powerful than the existing cyclotron here operational since 1980. It will be used by our scientists for carrying out highly advanced research experiments in nuclear science," the centre's director Bikash Sinha said. "The majority of components were fabricated in the country and some of them, including the superconducting coil, at the VECC itself." "The construction implies an important technological fallout in the field of cryogenics and superconducting magnets.
During construction, the superconducting magnet, the largest in the country, was energised to produce a very high magnetic field of 48 kilogauss. The energising coils, through which several hundred amperes of current flows, remains at minus 269 degrees centigrade with the help of about 300 litres of liquid helium in a special vessel called cryostat. The performance was highly satisfactory.
What is most important in this achievement is the cost factor. This can have long term implications in defense application – creation of stealth, armor and other advanced applications.