The great tron lineages

Explore the stories of the  ‘tron’ particles, the electron, neutron, mesotron, and positron. Then explore the great trons of physics,  the cyclotron, a particle accelerator and one of the most famous instruments in the history of science, that begat a tron lineage that eventually included the synchrotron, the Cosmotron (with its 24 ignitron rectifiers), the Bevatron, and finally the Bevatron.  Then there was a tron in the life sciences, the evocatively named phytotron. Phytotrons were, and still are, computer-controlled environmental laboratories consisting of any number of rooms or smaller cabinets, all able to produce any set of climatic conditions. Because the growth and development of any organism depends on its genes and its environment, plant scientists required the ability to produce reproducible climates in order to conduct experiments that tested plants’ (and some animals’) responses to various environmental conditions. Phytotrons begat the Climatron, Biotron, and Ecotron, all increasingly elaborate facilities to control climate.