The Cyclotron

The Cyclotron was manufactured by Ion Beam Applications, IBA, of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. The machine is a Cyclone 18®. It is capable of accelerating protons to 18 MeV and deuterons to 9 MeV. There are 6 targets and 2 beam-stops. The targets are listed below with their nominal and measured production capacities:

The Cyclotron weight approximately 27 Tons.  It was shipped in two shipments from Belgium.  Both traveled by freighter.  The machine itself traveled through the St. Lawrence seaway and entered Lake Erie after traveling through the Welland Canal.  It docked in Cleveland and continued overland by flatbed truck.  The other shipment traveled to the Port of Newark and was then transported by truck to a warehouse in the Chicago area.

The machine arrived at the University of Chicago in its original crate and sea wrap. The low-boy flatbed brought the machine into one of the hospital’s loading bays. It arrived on a Friday at noon. By Sunday night at 8 pm. It was finally placed in its vault after moving for 40 hours through the tunnels of the hospital complex.

This is a picture of the Cyclotron on the dock of the loading bay. The crate has been opened and workers are unpacking the sea wrap. Because the insertion of the machine was horizontal through the tunnels and due to the widths and heights of doors, almost all pieces on the top and outside of the cyclotron had to be removed. Also, to accommodate door heights, IBA manufactured the legs in two pieces, a short 150 mm high leg and a 450 mm long leg that remained attached to the accelerator during the shipment. After entering the vault, the machine was lifted and the short legs were bolted to the long ones and the machine was placed in its final position.

The total distance through the tunnels was about 1,900 feet or over 0.6 km. The machine was set on creepers and pulled by a pair of electrical winches (gas and propane powered equipment is not allowed in the tunnels). There were inclines and the machine had two “parking spots” for Friday and Saturday nights. H & H Machinery Movers of Chicago did the rigging with a team of seven aided by 2 representatives of IBA and 2 from the University.

A GoPro was set to snap a picture every 15 seconds (during the 40 hours of work). The original, over 7-minute long movie has been edited to under a minute. Click on the icon below to view the movie.

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