Breakthrough in Magnetron Noise Reduction

Principal Researchers:
Ronald M. Gilgenbach, Yue Ying Lau, Bogdan Neculaes

The classical magnetron, which generates a few kilowatts of microwave power at 80 percent efficiency, is being studied. We hope to understand the reason behind its highly efficient operation and compare the findings with that of the relativistic magnetron, which is very inefficient. We would also like to understand the physics of noise generation to improve the quality of magnetron based communication, radar applications, and 2.4 GHz devices (i.e. cordless phones, 802.11b, 802.11g, and bluetooth technologies).

Figure 1: Experimental Setup

2.4 GHz Cordless Phone with Microwave off

2.4 GHz Cordless Phone with Microwave on


Low-noise microwave magnetrons by azimuthally varying axial magnetic field Neculaes, V. B. and Gilgenbach, R. M. and Lau, Y. Y., Applied Physics Letters, 83, 1938-1940 (2003). 


  • V. B. Neculaes, R. M. Gilgenbach, and Y. Y. Lau, “Low Noise Cross-Field Devices Such as Microwave Magnetron Having an Azimuthally-Varying Axial Magnetic Field and Microwave OVen Utilizing Same”, US Patent #6,872,929, Issued March 29, 2005 and US Patent #6,921,890, Issued July 26, 2005.