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Gyrotrons are high powered electron tubes which emit millimeter wavelength beams by bunching electrons with cyclotron motion in a strong magnetic field. Output frequencies range from about 20 to 250 GHz, covering wavelengths from microwave to the edge of terahertz. Typical output powers range from tens of kilowatts to 1-2 megawatts. Gyrotrons can be designed for pulsed or continuous operation. Gyrotron makers include CPI (USA), Gycom (Russia), Thales Group (EU), and Toshiba (Japan). A common use of gyrotrons is as a source of plasma heating, often in nuclear fusion research experiments.

The gyrotron is a type of free electron maser (microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation). It has high power at millimeter wavelengths because its dimensions can be much larger than the wavelength, unlike conventional vacuum tubes, and it is not dependent on material properties, as are conventional masers. The bunching depends on a relativistic effect called the Cyclotron Resonance Maser instability. The electron speed in a gyrotron is slightly relativistic (comparable to but not close to the speed of light). This contrasts to the free electron laser (and xaser) that work on different principles and which electrons are highly relativistic.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Gyrotron". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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