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How does a cyclotron work in medical imaging?

A cyclotron produces radioisotopes used in medical imaging by accelerating charged particles in a magnetic field.

Cyclotrons are used to produce radioisotopes for medical imaging, such as positron emission tomography (PET) scans. These isotopes are created by accelerating charged particles, usually protons, in a magnetic field. The particles are injected into the cyclotron and are accelerated by an electric field towards the magnetic field. The magnetic field causes the particles to move in a circular path, increasing their speed with each revolution.

As the particles gain energy, they collide with a target material, usually a metal, which causes nuclear reactions that produce the desired radioisotope. The radioisotope is then extracted from the target material and used in medical imaging.

Cyclotrons are preferred for medical imaging because they can produce a high yield of radioisotopes in a short amount of time, allowing for more efficient and cost-effective production. Additionally, cyclotrons can produce a wide range of radioisotopes, making them versatile for different medical imaging applications.

Overall, cyclotrons play a crucial role in medical imaging by producing the radioisotopes needed for accurate diagnosis and treatment of various medical conditions.

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