Cockcroft-Walton voltage multiplier

Contributed by The Hunterian

Cockcroft-Walton voltage multiplier

Shan Macdonald, Curatorial assistant for Scientific Instruments selected this object from the Hunterian Museum's collection. Shan writes - This apparatus is named after Cockcroft and Walton, who in 1932 used a similar ladder-arrangement network to power their particle accelerator.
A Cockcroft-Walton voltage multiplier works by taking initial electrical inputs and multiplying their power levels through a sequential series of capacitors and diodes. In this case, large scale selenium rectifiers were used as diodes. Like the original Cockcroft-Walton apparatus in function, these components may have been used to power Glasgow University's electron synchrotron.
In the mid-1950s Glasgow University commissioned a cutting-edge 300 MeV electron particle collider, in the basement of the Natural Philosophy building (the subject now called Physics). This enormous machine weighed in excess of 140 tons, and was housed in a purpose-built basement space with a sliding, radiation-proof ceiling. The Hunterian Museum houses a large number of components once part of the University's Cockcroft-Walton multiplier.

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline




View more objects from people in Glasgow and West of Scotland.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.