Sunday, September 4, 2016

Wikipedia article of the day for September 5, 2016

The Wikipedia article of the day for September 5, 2016 is Calutron.
A calutron (pictured) is a device that separates isotopes of a chemical element by ionizing, accelerating and deflecting them using electric and magnetic fields. A type of sector mass spectrometer, it was developed by Ernest O. Lawrence at the Radiation Laboratory at the University of California as part of the Manhattan Project during World War II, based on his earlier invention, the cyclotron. Calutrons were used to separate the isotopes of uranium on an industrial scale at the Y-12 plant at the Clinton Engineer Works in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The enriched uranium produced was used in the Little Boy atomic bomb employed in the bombing of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Electromagnetic uranium enrichment was abandoned in the early post-war period in favor of the more complicated, but more efficient, gaseous diffusion method, but calutrons remained in use to produce isotopically enriched samples of naturally occurring elements for military, scientific and medical purposes.

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