What the cyclotron taught me about building and maintaining relationships


The cyclotron is a particle accelerating device that is used by physicists to accelerate charged particles to verycyclotron high velocities. What’s so interesting about this device is the way in which it accelerates the particles.

It consists of two D-shaped hollow metal discs placed next to each other with a gap between the flat ends. Imagine a hollow doughnut (a toroid) placed on a horizontal surface that has been cut along the diameter with a gap between the cut edges.

A uniform vertical magnetic field is created in the region inside the D-shaped discs. The charged particles are released at the central gap between the D-shaped discs. The D-shaped discs are connected to an AC voltage source whose voltage changes sign with a frequency that matches the frequency with which the charged particles cross-over the gap between the D-shaped discs.

While the vertical magnetic field makes the charged particles move in a curved circular path without influencing its speed (magnetic field can only change the direction of motion of charged particles), the alternating voltage gives the push to the charged particles at just the right time (when the particles are crossing over the gap) and in the right direction every time. Thus, the electric field always has only a positive effect on the speed of the charged particle. Thus, due to the increasing velocity, the charged particle starts moving in bigger and bigger circular paths, until the radius of its path becomes greater than the radius of the cyclotron disc and it emerges outside (gets liberated from the cyclotron) with a very high energy and velocity.

So what can we learn about building and maintaining relationships by understanding the working of a cyclotron?

I see the cyclotron as the stage on which our lives are played. The electric and magnetic fields are the medium by which we can influence others when we interact with them. Thus, these fields can represent our speech and actions and how they impact and influence others – in a positive or negative way, i.e by increasing or decreasing their velocities,  by increasing or decreasing their energies. The charged particles that are released in the cyclotron are the people with whom we interact and form relationships of one kind or the other – parent, child, lover, friend, sister or brother, etc. Just as the goal of the cyclotron is to add energy and velocity to the particles that are released inside it, similarly, the goal of every relationship should be to energize and free the other person in the relationship. We can do that by being very flexible and alert and finding the frequency of mood swings of the other person. All people go through different mood swings with varying frequency. Just as the cyclotron cannot function properly if it is not set at the exact frequency with which the charged particles cross over the gap between the discs, we cannot have a successful relationship if we cannot find and adjust ourselves and our responses according to the mood swings of our partners. In the cyclotron, the direction of the electric field (created by the voltage difference between the two D-shaped discs) switches each time the charged particle crosses over, so that it can always give the positive push to the particle and increase its speed and never retard its speed. Similarly, we should never make any discouraging or negative remarks to our partners. No matter in what direction their action may be – positive or negative, you must change your orientation to suit their action, so that you still end up encouraging them and nudging them in the positive direction. If you do it all the time, they will soon acquire enough energy to become free from all negativity.


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