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The Klystron: A Microwae Source of Surprising Range and Endurance


This year marks the 60th anniversary of the birth of the klystron at Stanford University. The tube was the first practical source of microwaves and its invention initiated a search for increasingly more powerful sources, which continues to this day. This paper reviews the scientific uses of the klystron and outlines its operating principles. The history of the device is traced, from its scientific beginnings, to its role in WWII and the Cold War, and to its current resurgence as the key component in a major accelerator project. Finally, the paper describes the development of a modular klystron, which may someday power future accelerators at millimeter wavelengths.

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