This article describes the process of cyclotron development in Britain in the 1930s by focusing on the relationships between John D. Cockcroft, James Chadwick, and the Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Company, Ltd. There is a difference of about one year in the completion dates of the cyclotrons built by Cockcroft at Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory and by Chadwick at the University of Liverpool. This time discrepancy seems to be a consequence of the differing relationships the two men had with Met-Vick. Analysis of British cyclotron development points to three major changes that took place in scientific research: the emergence in university laboratories of researchers specializing in developing experimental instruments; alterations in the relationship between university research laboratories and companies; and the need for special funding sources to enable university laboratories to construct experimental instruments.

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