2020 | India | Documentary


  • English, Punjabi, Hindi 59 mins
  • Director | Jahnavi Phalkey

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Cyclotron is a film about the world’s oldest functional particle accelerator and the people who keep it running today. 

Operational in 1936 at the University of Rochester, United States, it was built merely three years after the very first cyclotron was built by Ernest Lawrence at Berkeley. The entire set-up in Rochester was dismantled and sent to India in 1967, and is now housed at the Panjab University, Chandigarh. With the cyclotron, the regional university became one of the very few places in India for research and education in nuclear physics. This was otherwise possible only in the facilities of the Department of Atomic Energy. The cyclotron has been running for nearly fifty years in Chandigarh.

The film explores the life and legacy of the machine as well as the struggles and triumphs of its technicians, researchers and students. It is a comment on the state of experimental research and higher education in Indian universities.

nuclear physics atomic energy particle accelerator history